London: The Player Draft for the inaugural edition of the Euro T20 Slam took place during a gala ceremony at the Heathrow Airport here 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 August 30 to September 22.
Meanwhile, all six jerseys were unveiled on behalf of the official kit supplier TYKA, ahead of the draft.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for north Dubliner Morgan with the 32-year-old set to represent the Dublin Chiefs. Morgan, 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.”
Imran Tahir, who has 63 wickets from 38 T20 Internationals and 173 wickets from 107 ODIs to his name till date, echoed Morgan’s comments and said that he was excited to embark on a new chapter in his career.
“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 started on a high note, and speaking to my teammates 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,” Tahir commented.
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 (September 20) and finals (September 22).
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.”
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, Ahmad 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