Local players earn big bucks in Afghanistan's Shpageeza Cricket League

Local players earn big bucks in Afghanistan’s Shpageeza Cricket League

The second edition of Shpageeza Cricket League will commence from 18th July.

Gulbadin Naib Afghanistan
Afghanistan batsman Gulbadin Naib. (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images)

Sunrisers Hyderabad surprised everyone when they bought the Afghan sensation Rashid Khan for Rs. 4 crores in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction earlier this year. But that was not the end of money-making for the Afghan cricketers, as Afghanistan launched their own franchise based cricket league. The league is termed as Shpageeza Cricket League (SCL) and it will stage its second edition this year.

Last year, only seven foreigners played in the tournament. Six of them were from Pakistan, namely- Kamran Akmal, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Sami, Salman Butt and Khalid Latif. The other foreigner was Zimbabwe’s, Sikandar Raza. But this time, the SCL is expected to get bigger and better as the franchises spent a huge amount of money to rope in the desired players in their team. The auction took place on Thursday at a hotel in Kabul.

Summary of the auction

Afghanistan batsman Gulbadin Naib was the most expensive player. Arif Azeem Boos Defenders bought him for $108,460. Pakistani pace duo Rumman Raees and Sohail Tanvir come second in the list. Both of them received $105,519. Many foreign stars will be playing the tournament this year. Notable amongst them are- Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Sabbir Rahman, Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza, Solomon Mire, Sean Williams, Hamilton Masakadza, Pakistan’s Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Rumman Raees, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan and West Indies’ Riyad Emrit.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) is now looking to strengthen the security front. “The auction saw some of the big names going under the hammer. We have made it a point to provide highest security to the cricketers,” said ACB CEO Shafiq Stanikzai while speaking to Sportstar. “We are taking every initiative to make the event a grand success,” he further added. The tournament will be held from July 18 to July 28 at the National Stadium in Kabul.

Here are the squads of the six teams after the auction