Finch, de Kock, Chand named by franchise teams for the US T20 cricket tournament set to take place in July.
Former Australian captain Aaron Finch will lead the San Francisco Unicorns in the inaugural edition of the new United States Twenty20 cricket tournament, while South Africa’s Quinton de Kock will play for the Seattle Orcas.
Finch and de Kock were among six overseas signings announced Sunday during Major League Cricket’s (MLC) Domestic Player Draft, in which each of the six teams chose nine players from the US.
MLC will be played from July 13 to July 30. It will be the latest T20 competition to appear around the world, just months after South Africa and the United Arab Emirates introduced their versions to the world of cricket and almost 15 years after the Indian Premier League (IPL) changed cricket forever.
“It’s going to be a great ride, but the key is to get the first year going, show the world we can put out a product, get a decent audience and I think the momentum will grow quickly,” says MLC tournament director Justin. Geale, told Al Jazeera before the draft.
The gang is all here… Well, almost 😋
🌎 More international players to be announced soon!!!
🏏 Following the conclusion of the first half of the @MiLCricket season, one additional player will be selected based on season performance.
Full recap ➡️ pic.twitter.com/3D7MiOHVcE
— Major League cricket (@MLCricket) March 20, 2023
“So excited to be part of @MLCricket @SFOUnicorns,” tweeted Finch, who led Australia in white-ball cricket before announcing his retirement from internationals last month.
The 36-year-old will be joined by his former Unicorns teammate Marcus Stoinis and Victoria fast bowler Brody Couch, whose mother is American, making him eligible for the draft.
Fast bowler Liam Plunkett, who was part of the England squad that won the 50-over World Cup in 2019, was also picked by the Unicorns in the draft. Plunkett’s wife is American.
De Kock, who previously captained South Africa in all three formats, will line up for the Orcas alongside Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh.
DC Freedom also announced two overseas signings, bringing in Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga and South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje.
More overseas transfers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Unmukt Chand, India’s under-19 World Cup winning captain in 2012, came to Los Angeles, while former Pakistan international Hammed Azam was snapped up by MI New York.
‘Although the money is there, it’s quite a nice idea to tour America, play cricket, take your family and your golf clubs. We didn’t really struggle when talking to players.” Geale added.