Among the record-breaking number of players (536) from 20 overseas countries and West Indies who have made themselves available to be picked by Caribbean Premier League (CPL) teams, Irfan Pathan features as the only Indian player. The list of players has been sent to respective teams ahead of the draft taking place in London on May 22.
Pathan has not been a part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the previous two seasons. In 2017, the Baroda all-rounder played just one game for Gujarat Lions whereas in IPL 2016 he played four games for Rising Pune Supergiants. If selected, the 34-year-old will be the first Indian player to play in CPL.
However, there are question marks over Pathan’s eventual participation with BCCI maintaining a tough stance on Indian players competing in foreign T20 leagues such as CPL, BBL and BPL. A ‘No Objection Certificate’ would be required for Pathan to participate in the CPL – if he gets picked by a team.
Michael Hall, the Hero CPL tournament Operations Director, has taken pride in the number of players expressing their interest to play in the league.
“Prior to the draft, each franchise will have the option to retain and/or acquire a maximum of six players, although there is no obligation to do so,” CPL announced on its website.
“The fact that so many players have registered for our draft is a testament to the stature of our league. Playing cricket in the Caribbean is something that all players look forward to, and the CPL combines that allure with a high standard of cricket. We expect that this year’s tournament will be no different,” he said.
The draft has one player each from India, Bermuda and Oman. Players from associate teams like USA, Scotland, Kenya, Nepal, Hong Kong and Canada will also be up for grabs for CPL franchises.
The tournament will take place from September 4 to October 12. CPL was originally scheduled to start from August 21 but it was postponed to avoid a clash with India’s tour of West Indies.