Ex-Pakistan Players To Play For Franchises Of Indian Premier League Team Owners. There's A Twist
Pakistani players only featured in the IPL back in 2008 before being barred from participation in the T20 league.
It was back in 2008, during the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) when Pakistan players last played in the T20 league. Since then, no player from the neighbouring country has been allowed to feature in the Indian franchise-based cricket league. However, some discarded Pakistani players would go on to play for franchises of IPL team owners, who have bought sides in the United States of America. Mumbai Indians, who have won the IPL a record five times, have bought the MI New York franchise in the Major League Cricket (USA).
The likes of Hammad Azam and Ehsan Adil have joined the MI New York franchise as local players. MI New York won't be the only franchise to have players from Pakistan. The likes of Mukhtar Ahmad and Saad Ali will feature for Washington Freedom, while Nauman Anwar has signed up for Seattle Orcas. Sami Aslam for Texas Super Kings, and Saif Badar for Los Angeles Knight Riders will be seen in action in the MLC.
Hammad Azam started his career in Pakistan but decided to switch to the USA over lack of opportunities at home. Speaking of his association with MI New York, Hammad said: "This is the biggest franchise in the world, I can say, and I am really happy to be a part of it. I was quiet but feeling happy now. We have been looking towards this franchise for the last 12 to 13 years. It was the first franchise when I started playing back then, so of course, all the boys and I are quite excited."
"Really excited to join one of the biggest franchises in the world!"— MI New York (@MINYCricket) March 20, 2023
And we're excited to have you. Hear from our draft pick Hammad Azam.#MINewYork #MLC2023 pic.twitter.com/aWrdzWYEVD
Hammad Azam also represented the Pakistan national team in 11 ODIs and 5 T20Is before switching to the USA. As for Ehsan Adil, he played a total of 3 Tests and 6 ODIs for the Pakistan national team.
The 2023 edition of Major League Cricket is set to kick off on July 13, with a total of six teams participating.