Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has joined the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 tournament, becoming the fourth international ‘franchise player’ to be a part of the event now, according to ESPNcricinfo.
Hafeez, Pakistan Twenty20 captain, is ranked second behind Australia’s Shane Watson in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings for all-rounders in the format. The right-hander has played 43 Twenty20 internationals, managing 1013 runs besides taking 35 wickets. The 32-year-old replaced Misbah as national captain and has led the team in 14 games as well.
Other international cricketers who have committed playing in the league, and have been assigned the status of icon or ‘franchise player’, are Australians Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist with New Zea’and’s Ross Taylor completing the list so far.
Hafeez was looking forward to spending some time in the Caribbean. “The 2010 World Twenty20 allowed me the experience of playing T20 in the Caribbean and I am looking forward to playing there once again,” said Hafeez. “People in the West Indies love their cricket and I am sure the fans will get behind their teams. I also hope that cricket fans back in Pakistan and around the world will follow me during this first season.”
The league is scheduled to begin on July 29 and run till August 26. The tournament involves six franchise countries across the Caribbean — Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago. All teams can have one local and an international franchise player apiece.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2013.