The Player Draft for the inaugural edition of the Euro T20 Slam took place at a gala ceremony in London Heathrow Airport on Friday.
England’s ICC Cricket World Cup winning captain Eoin Morgan joined a host of dignitaries and owners from each of the six franchises, including Indian great and one of the Board Members of league’s advisory committee Anil Kumble, Pakistan’s Babar Azam, Afghanistan leg-spin star Rashid Khan, England’s Tymal Mills and South African leg-spin star Imran Tahir, for the tournament which will take place in the Netherlands, Scotland and Ireland from 30th August until 22nd September.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for north Dubliner Morgan with the 32-year-old set to represent the Dublin Chiefs. The former underage and senior Leinster and Ireland representative, who recently became England’s most capped One-Day International (ODI) player during their historic march to the Cricket World Cup title, said that he was proud to be selected for the new franchise.
Eoin Morgan said: “I am proud and delighted to participate in the inaugural Euro T20 Slam. You only have to look at the calibre of international and local stars who have been selected to see that it’s going to be an electrifying tournament across three new T20 locations in northern Europe. There’s huge interest in the Euro T20 Slam and the teams are really taking shape. It’s going to be incredibly competitive and I can’t wait to get going.”
South Africa’s Imran Tahir, one of the greatest leg-spinners to ever play the limited over format with 38 T20 Internationals and 107 ODI’s to his name to date, echoed Morgan’s comments and said that he was excited to embark on a new chapter in his career.
Imran Tahir commented: “There’s a real buzz around the Euro T20 Slam and I can’t wait to get started with Amsterdam Knights. I’ve been fortunate enough to play in numerous leagues throughout my career, but there’s something special about playing in a new competition. It’s clear how ambitious the organisers are to get the tournament off on a high note, and speaking to my team-mates and opponents over the last few weeks, everyone’s incredibly excited to play in Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Dublin. It will be a new horizon for cricket in Europe and I’m relishing the chance to join my new teammates and get started.”
Other delegates included some of the coaches for the franchises Mark O’Donnell (Head Coach, Amsterdam Knights), Herschelle Gibbs (Head Coach, Rotterdam Rhinos), Ian Pont (Head Coach, Belfast Titans) and Mark Ramprakash (Head Coach, Edinburgh Rocks). They joined representatives from each of the six franchises including owners, commercial partners and international media.
The coaches of the other franchises were also confirmed; Daniel Vettori has been named Head Coach of the Dublin Chiefs, while Lance Klusener will lead the Glasgow Giants coaching team.
In all, 33 matches will take place in Amsterdam, Edinburgh and the finals due to take place in Dublin following the closing round of pool matches including semi-finals (20th September) and finals (22nd September).
Anil Kumble added: “It’s exciting to be a part of the Euro T20 Slam as an advisor to the league. It is encouraging to see the growth of cricket worldwide, and am excited to witness teams from Netherlands, Ireland and Scotland competing against each other. It will be a great opportunity for local talent to rub shoulders with some of the best cricketing talent worldwide. I look forward to contributing towards making the inaugural Euro T20 Slam a grand success.”
The Euro T20 Slam Draft was hosted by Darren Gough and Ridhima Pathak.
PLAYER DRAFT SUMMARY:
Australia’s two-time ICC Cricket World Cup winner Shane Watson will join Imran Tahir at the AMSTERDAM KNIGHTS, while Australian Ben Cutting and Ahmad Shahzad were the early signings for the franchise. West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph joins an exciting panel which includes all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe who heads a strong local contingent for the Knights, which also includes the vastly experienced Wesley Barresi.
Ireland T20 captain Gary Wilson and powerful top order batsman Paul Stirling have been joined in an exciting BELFAST TITANS panel by Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi who is set to link up with the Titans having previously represented Ireland as a guest player back in 2006. Proteas’ batting all-rounder JP Duminy, with 81 T20 Internationals to his name, is featured alongside a host of local talent including the powerful Mark Adair and experienced bowler Boyd Rankin. Pakistan’s Muhammad Nawaz was the opening selection of the draft pick proper and the squad has also been bolstered by England international Luke Wright. Black Caps duo Colin Ingram and Mitch McClenaghan will also feature.
Pakistan batting sensation Babar Azam, a leading light in the recent ICC Cricket World Cup, will line up for the DUBLIN CHIEFS alongside Eoin Morgan and a host of Leinster and Ireland internationals. Amongst the drafted players is big-hitting all-rounder Kevin O’Brien who joins in-form batsman Andrew Balbirnie, left-arm spinner George Dockrell and the exciting wicket-keeper/batsman Lorcan Tucker. Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Amir was the first round pick and was followed by England bowler Harry Gurney.
Scotland batsman Kyle Coetzer has signed for the EDINBURGH ROCKS whose fans will be assured of some big-hitting up front after the recruitment of Black Caps opening batsman Martin Guptill and the dynamic Australian Chris Lynn, another star of the T20 circuit. Guptill will be joined by fellow Black Caps players, all-rounders Corey Anderson and Matt Henry.
GLASGOW GIANTS have been boosted by the recruitment of the hugely respected former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum who is joined by Proteas pace bowler Dale Steyn. England all-rounder Ravi Bopara, Pakistan’s Usman Shinwari and the talented Moises Henriques were the early round selections. In the local player draft, Richie Berrington was the first name selected and was joined by fellow Scotland international team-mate George Munsey.
Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan and Luke Ronchi will supplement a strong Dutch contingent in the ROTTERDAM RHINOS panel which includes local talent Stephan Myburgh and Peter Trego. Pakistan opening batsman Fakhar Zaman and English all-rounder Samit Patel are further positive additions to the squad.
EURO T20 SLAM SQUADS:
AMSTERDAM KNIGHTS: Shane Watson*, Hasan Ali, Wesley Barresi, Saad Bin Zafar, Philippe Boissevain, Varun Chopra, Ben Cooper, Ben Cutting, Brandon Glover, Alzarri Joseph, Sikandar Raza, Amad Shahzad, Tony Staal, Imran Tahir**, Roelof van der Merwe, Paul Van Meekeren, Tobias Visee, Sikander Zulfiqar
Coach: Mark O’Donnell
BELFAST TITANS: Shahid Afridi*, Mark Adair, JP Duminy**, Shane Getkate, Colin Ingram, Muhammad Ilyas, Andrew McBrine, Mitchell McClenaghan, Muhammad Nawaz, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Aaron Summers, Greg Thompson, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Luke Wright, Craig Young
Coach: Ian Pont
DUBLIN CHIEFS: Eoin Morgan*, Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam**, Andrew Balbirnie, Corbin Bosch, Dan Christian, Gareth Delany, Robert Frylinck, Harry Gurney, Tyrone Kane, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Kevin O’Brien, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker
Coach: Daniel Vettori
EDINBURGH ROCKS: Martin Guptill*, Corey Anderson, Dylan Budge, Kyle Coetzer, Anton Devcich, Oliver Hairs, Matt Henry, Michael Leask, Chris Lynn**, Calum MacLeod, Gavin Main, Tymal Mills, Adrian Neill, Tabraiz Shamsi, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt
Coach: Mark Ramprakash
GLASGOW GIANTS: Brendon McCullum*, Qais Ahmad, Richie Berrington, Ravi Bopara, Scott Cameron, Matthew Cross, Alasdair Evans, Moises Henriques, Michael Jones, Heinrich Klaasen, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Usman Shinwari, JJ Smuts, Tom Sole, Dale Steyn**, Hamza Tahir
Coach: Lance Klusener
ROTTERDAM RHINOS: Rashid Khan*, Shaheen Afridi, Anwar Ali, Bas De Leede, Scott Edwards, Vivian Kingma, Fred Klaassen, Stephan Myburgh, Max O’Dowd, Samit Patel, Luke Ronchi**, Pieter Seelaar, Shane Snater, Peter Trego, Hardus Viljoen, Fakhar Zaman, Saqib Zulfiqar
Coach: Herschelle Gibbs
*Denotes Icon Player
**Denotes Marquee Player