NEW DELHI: In a historic first, the BCCI has decided to include five Afghanistan cricketers including hard-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammed Shahzad, whose pyrotechnics had grabbed eyeballs during the last edition of World T20 in India, in the IPL auction pool.
The others are batsman Asghar Stanikzhai, pacer Dawlat Zadran, all-rounder Mohammed Nabi and bowler Rashid Khan Arman. The sixth associate nation cricketer is India born Chirag Suri of United Arab Emirates.
It can be safely assumed that at least Shahzad with a base price of Rs 50 lakh or pacer Zadran with a Rs 30 lakh base price would not have been kept in the final auction pool without the consent of the eight franchises and BCCI’s wish.
The final auction pool is always created after pruning the initial list and asking the franchises to name the players they want to go under hammer. Shahzad is the most popular among Afghanistan cricketers with a strike-rate of 136 plus in 55 T20 Internationals in which he hit a hundred and 11 half-centuries.
However, Rashid Arman may find it difficult to get a team with a base price of Rs50 lakh.
Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2017