Rashid, Boult, Pooran, De Kock among foreign players retention for MLC season 2

February 16, 2024
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Major League Cricket (MLC), America's professional T20 cricket league, will once again feature the world’s best T20 cricketers with Rashid Khan,

New York, Feb 16 (IANS) Major League Cricket (MLC), America’s professional T20 cricket league, will once again feature the world’s best T20 cricketers with Rashid Khan, Trent Boult, Nicholas Pooran, and Quinton de Kock among the players retained by six teams following the conclusion of the international player retention window for the second season.

The finalisation of international player retentions kicks off the roster-building process ahead of the 2024 season, scheduled to begin on July 4, five days after the T20 World Cup final in Barbados.

MI New York brings back seven of the international players to feature in their 2023 title-winning run. That group includes Pooran, the tournament MVP from season one, who catapulted his team to victory with an unbeaten 137 in the Championship Final at Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium.

Pooran is joined by fellow West Indian international Kieron Pollard, with additional firepower to come from big hitter Tim David of Australia and South Africa’s rising star Dewald Brevis.

MI NY’s bowling attack will again be led by Kiwi quick Boult, who led MLC with 22 wickets during the inaugural season. Spin superstar Rashid further bolsters a bowling unit that features the return of South African pace bowler Kagiso Rabada.

The 2023 season’s finalists Seattle Orcas retain two of the top three batters in the inaugural MLC season, with South Africans Quinton de Kock (264 runs) and Heinrich Klaasen (235 runs) returning for season two.

Klaasen struck the first-ever century in MLC, smashing an unbeaten 110 from only 44 balls against MI New York at Church Street Park.

The Orcas also bring back their captain from 2023, South African Wayne Parnell. The left-arm seamer will be part of a Seattle bowling unit that will again feature Pakistan’s Imad Wasim, the left-handed all-rounder who took 10 wickets with a miserly economy rate of 6.33 in the 2023 MLC season.

The Texas Super Kings retain three players for 2024, led by superstar captain Faf du Plessis. TSK’s top run scorer in 2023, New Zealand’s Devon Conway, returns along with his fellow Kiwi international, all-rounder Mitchell Santner, who is captaining his nation in their T20 series with Australia this month.

Pakistan’s Haris Rauf, who claimed seven wickets for the San Francisco Unicorns in 2023, rejoins the Bay Area team for the second edition of the tournament. Rauf will suit up alongside Finn Allen, with the Kiwi batter riding high after blasting a world record-tying sixteen sixes in a T20 international against Rauf’s Pakistan last month.

New Washington Freedom Head Coach Ricky Ponting is ringing in the changes following his recent appointment, with a pair of left-arm bowlers being the only two retained international players from 2023: left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein of the West Indies along with towering Proteas fast bowler Marco Jansen, who both claimed seven wickets in the inaugural MLC season.

Five players return to the Los Angeles Knight Riders, including 2023 captain Sunil Narine of the West Indies. The off-spinner will be joined in the bowling attack by a pair of Australian internationals: Adam Zampa, whose leg-spin bowling claimed a team-leading nine wickets in five matches in 2023 and left-arm fast bowler Spencer Johnson. LAKR’s batting will again feature the explosive big-hitting of West Indian Andre Russell and England’s Jason Roy.

The franchises will be allowed to sign up to a maximum of nine international players to their respective rosters and have until the end of February to settle on the retention of their domestic players from MLC season one.

The domestic player draft will then follow in March as teams build out their rosters for the coming season, according to the information on MLC website.

–IANS

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