Big T20 stars like Rashid Khan, Andres Russell, Brendon McCullum and Chris Lynn are set to feature in this season of the T-10 league. The new season will see eight franchises taking place instead of six teams from the last season.
On Monday in Dubai, a mini draft took place where they picked their icon players and chose four players to retain from their 2017 squads. September 2 will see the main draft to pick 11 players for the 10-day tournament in December.
Rashid and McCullum will be the icon players for Maratha Arabians and Rajputs respectively, while Lynn and Russell will turn out for Rajputs and Northern Warriors. Other Afghanistan players to participate in the tournament are Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Bengal Tigers) and Mohammad Shahzad (Rajputs).
Pakhtoons retained Shahid Afridi, and Punjabi Legends retained Shoaib Malik, while Eoin Morgan resigned with Kerala Kings. New team Northern Warriors franchise will see Darren Sammy as their new icon player.
Karachians, the second new team have signed Shane Watson as their icon player. The inclusion of two new teams will increase the length of the tournament, from 13 matches over four days to 28 over ten days. In addition, Team Sri Lanka have undergone multiple makeovers - they renamed themselves Rajasthani Heroes first, and then Rajputs.
The organizers have hiked the franchise fee from USD 400,000 to USD 1.2 million for the two new teams. All eight teams are entitled to 10% of the central revenue pool, which includes net income from media rights, gate money, and sponsorship.
"The response I can tell you has been exceptional over the year since we launched T10," Shaji Ul Mulk, the chairman of the T10 League, told ESPNCricinfo. "The commercial success of T10 is the very fact that we have sold two news teams for USD 1.2 million each and have sold partial shares of Kerala Kings with the same price. So this has immediately given valuation to the exiting team owners.”
T10 teams after the mini-draft:
Maratha Arabians: Rashid Khan (icon), James Faulkner, Alex Hales, Dwayne Bravo, Kamran Akmal
Pakhtoons: Shahid Afridi (icon), Colin Ingram, David Willey, Mohammad Irfan, Liam Dawson
Bengal Tigers: Sunil Narine (icon), Jason Roy, Sam Billings, Asif Ali, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Punjabi Legends: Shoaib Malik (icon), Evin Lewis, Chris Jordan, Luke Ronchi, Liam Plunkett
Kerala Kings: Eoin Morgan (icon), Kieron Pollard, Sohail Tanvir, Paul Stirling, and Dasun Shanaka
Rajputs: Brendon McCullum (icon), Mohammad Hafeez, Rilee Rossouw, Chris Lynn, Mohammad Shahzad
Northern Warriors: Darren Sammy (icon), Andre Russell, Dwayne Smith, Wahab Riaz, Nicholas Pooran
Karachians: Shane Watson (icon), Jofra Archer, Anton Devcich, Colin de Grandhomme, Ben Laughlin