The domestic T20 leagues are the new normal! It has now become a household affair for every cricket loving nation. These leagues have become cash cow for both nations and players. Be it Pakistan, West Indies, or South Africa, today almost every cricketing country is hosting their T20 leagues. Following the trail, Afghanistan the new kid on the block is all set to host its first T20 league from 5th – 21st Oct in the UAE.
DSport has acquired the broadcasting rights for APL in India. With five teams, the game will see twenty-three T20 matches played over 17 days. The teams have picked big-ticket stars like Shahid Afridi, Andre Russell, Chris Gayle, and Brendon McCullum. Paktia has picked up Afridi, Russell has been picked up by Nangarhar, Gayle joined Balkh, and McCullum Kandahar, while the fifth team, Kabul, had national-team superstar Rashid Khan as their biggest signing. About 34 overseas players are set to be part of the inaugural edition of the tournament.
Each team will face off against the other for twice. At the end of the league, each side would have played eight times and the top four teams will make it to the knock-out stage of the tournament.
Afghanistan Premier League: Teams and Squads
Balkh: Chris Gayle, Colin Munro, Mohammad Nabi, Ravi Bopara, Aftab Alam, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Irfan, Ben Laughlin, Karman Akmal, Qais Ahmed, Usman Ghani, Ikrain Alikhil, Ryan ten Doeschate, Tariq Skanikzai, Asadullah Matani, Samiullah Salarzai, Farhan Zakhil, Mohammad Nawaz, and Darwish Rasooli.
Kabul: Rashid Khan, Luke Ronchi, Hazrat Zazai, Colin Ingram, Farid Malik, Javed Ahmadi, Sohail Tanvir, Laurie Evans, Wayne Parnell, Shahidullah, Muslim Musa, Afsar Khan Zazi, Muhammad Ashan Ali Khan, Zahir Shirzad, Fitrat Khawry, Usman Adil, Shawkat Zaman, Nasir Totakhil, and Zamir Khan.
Kandahar: Brendon McCullum, Wahab Riaz, Asghar Afghan, Paul Stirling, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Tymal Mills, Sam Billings, Iftkhar Ahmed, Hamza Hotak, Karim Sadeq, Sayed Shirzad, Mohammad Naveed, Waqar, Abdul Baqi, Waheed Shafaq, Waqarullah Ishaq, and Nazir Jamal.
Nangarhar: Andre Russell, Tamim Iqbal, Mujeeb Zadran, Ben Cutting, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Najibullah Taraki, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Hafeez, Rahmat Shah, Naveen Ul Haq, Zahir Khan, Sandeep Lamichhane, Fazal Haq, Imran Janat, Nasratullah Quarishi, Khyber Omar, Ibrahim Zadran, and Faal Nazai.
Paktia: Shahid Afridi, Thisara Perera, Mohammad Shahzad, Cameron Delport, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Samiullah Shinwari, Chris Jordan, Faheem Ashraf, Luke Wright, Amatullah Omerzai, Rahmanullah Garbaz, Zia Urhaman Akber, Calum Macleod, Tahir Adil, Yousaf Zazi, and Fazal Zazai.