The experienced T20 pair of Chris Gayle and Lasith Malinga were not picked up by any of the teams at the inaugural player draft for the ECB's new competion.
Both had set their base price at the maximum of £125,000, along with Mitchell Starc, Steve Smith, David Warner, and Kagiso Rabada, meaning that they had to bought in the first round of the draft. But while the Australian trio were all taken – Starc and Smith by Welsh Fire, and Warner by Southern Brave – Malinga, Gayle, and Rabada all went unsold.
The first pick of the draft went to Trent Rockets, who opted for No.1 in the MRF Tyres T20I Bowling Rankings, Rashid Khan. The other players to go in the first round were Andre Russell (Southern Brave), Aaron Finch, Mujeeb Ur Rahman (both Northern Superchargers), Sunil Narine (Oval Invincibles), Imran Tahir, Dane Vilas (both Manchester Originals), Glenn Maxwell (London Spirit), and Liam Livingstone (Birmingham Phoenix).
Other big names signed in the draft included Sandeep Lamichhane (Oval Invincibles), Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Amir (both London Spirit), and Nathan Coulter-Nile (Trent Rockets). But with so many players entering themselves into the draft it was inevitable that many excellent players would not be picked. Babar Azam, No.1 in the T20I Batting Rankings, was not sold before his reserve price of £75000 was passed and so will not be playing a part in the tournament. Also missing out are Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Quinton de Kock, and Tamim Iqbal.
During the event each team also announced a new signing for the women's competition: Sophie Devine (Birmingham Phoenix), Tammy Beaumont (London Spirit), Lizelle Lee (Manchester Originals), Alyssa Healy (Northern Superchargers), Dane van Niekerk (Oval Invincibles), Suzie Bates (Southern Brave), Sophie Molineux (Trent Rockets), and Meg Lanning (Welsh Fire).
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