BBL 2022: Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Afridi announced in overseas draft

The draft will be hosted by Fox Cricket's Adam Gilchrist, Michael Hussey, Darren Lehmann, Kath Loughnan, and Mark Howard.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam. (Photo by ARIF ALI/AFP via Getty Images)

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Pakistan’s superstar trio of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Afridi are set to be included in the BBL’s inaugural draft for international cricketers for the Big Bash League’s 12th edition. The draft will take place on Saturday, August 28, after the first ODI between Australia and Zimbabwe in Townsville.

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, who led his side to a historic Test victory at Galle in the first Test against Sri Lanka, is the highest ranked T20I player and will be a part of the tournament alongside compatriot Mohammad Rizwan, ranked second in the T20I rankings. Meanwhile, pace sensation Shaheen Afridi will also join the two senior batters in the competition.

The BBL draft had already announced the names of some prestigious talents with a wealth of experience in the format, like Rashid Khan, Kieron Pollard, and Dwayne Bravo, and the inclusion of the Pakistani trio is guaranteed to draw attention from the subcontinent viewers.

Notably, Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan have played in the BBL previously and are also likely to feature in this year’s edition. According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, the trio was contacted last season as well, but the talks did not materialize.

We will do everything we can to retain Rashid Khan: Adelaide Strikers head coach Jason Gillespie

Afghanistan’s globetrotting leggie Rashid Khan, who has featured for the Adelaide Strikers in 61 matches and has snared 92 wickets, is on the verge of becoming the first foreign player to scalp 100 wickets in the tournament. Adelaide’s head coach Jason Gillespie has stated that they are willing to go the distance to secure his retention in the team.

“We will do everything we can to retain the Afghanistan leg-spinner, who has played 61 matches for the club,” Gillespie said.

Melbourne Renegades, who were the wooden spooners last season, have clinched the right for the first pick in the inaugural overseas player’s draft of the BBL after being drawn first in the weighted lottery. The draft will be hosted by Fox Cricket’s Adam Gilchrist, Michael Hussey, Darren Lehmann, Kath Loughnan, and Mark Howard on the 28th of August.