Legends League Cricket Players’ Draft sees teams utilise ?32cr player budget 

September 5, 2022

All four Legends League Cricket (LLC) franchises, Adani Sportsline-owned Gujarat Giants, GMR Sport’s India Capitals, Manipal Group’s Manipal Tigers and Bhilwara Group’s Bhilwara Kings, came together with a combined purse of ?32 crore to pick 59 stars from the Players’ Draft held virtually on September 2, 2022, for the upcoming edition of LLC.

The players’ draft included 79 cricketers, with each team having an allowance of ?8 crore each.

Each team will now have three more days to submit their final squad, wherein they can buy more players with the available purse.

Speaking on the draft, Raman Raheja, CEO and Co-Founder of Legends League Cricket, said:

“Among the teams, Manipal Tigers splurged the most amount of ?6,91,20,000 and have a remaining purse of ?1,08,80,000. Tigers were followed closely by India Capitals as they spent ?6,38,80,000 and Gujarat Giants who splurged ?5,51,80,000 on their stars. Bhilwara Kings were the most economical as they spent ?5,62,20,000. All of them have made judicious spend, the player mix seems great and it will be very interesting to see what each of them do now on the field. I wish everyone the best of luck.

The teams had already selected their captains and were given a chance to choose one more player of their own accord.

Manipal Tigers named former Australian pace sensation Brett Lee in their squad, while Gujarat went for their home-grown hero and former India wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel. India Capitals chose Ravi Bopara as Bhilwara Kings picked Yusuf Pathan, who will now get a chance to team up with his brother Irfan in the tournament.

Gujarat Giants have done their best to strike a nice balance in their team. Besides Patel, they have picked Sri Lanka’s mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis and former New Zealand captain and left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori. West Indies batter Lendl Simmons is likely to open with captain Virender Sehwag at the top, while Mitchell McClenaghan will spearhead the pace-bowling department.

Another Australian speedster in Mitchell Johnson will star in the tournament after being picked by India Capitals. The left-arm fast bowler will be supported by former England pacer Liam Plunkett. The team will also see former South Africa captain and legendary all-rounder Jacques Kallis don their jersey, while Ross Taylor will discharge batting duties alongside captain Gautam Gambhir.

Besides Brett Lee, Manipal also picked up the spinning wizard Muttiah Muralitharan. The former Sri Lankan off-spinner would get a chance to play alongside another off-spinning legend in Harbhajan Singh, who is also team captain. The Tigers’ other top buys are former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener and former Sri Lanka wicket-keeper Romesh Kaluwitharana, who played a crucial role in helping his country win the 1996 World Cup.

For Bhilwara, former Australia all-rounder and winner of the 2015 ODI World Cup Shane Watson was the star pick. Besides him, the team also picked Sreesanth and Monty Panesar among others.

Satyam Trivedi, Head of Adani Sportsline, said:

“It has been an enthralling draft today with Gujarat Giants securing the envisaged team-mix for the upcoming season of Legends League Cricket On the one hand, former Indian opener Virender Sehwag will be captaining the team and on the other, top-order batsman and wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel from Gujarat will be energising the game like never before. We look forward to contributing to one of the best experiences for cricket fans by bringing their favourite legends back in competitive cricket.”

Gautam Gambhir, Indian Capitals captain, also said:

Really happy with the squad that India Capitals have put on the table. Congratulations to Ruchir (GM) and the team for the fabulous job.” 

S Vaitheeswaran, VC & MD (MEMG), owner of Manipal Tigers, commented:

“The entire process of players drafting in a virtual mode was both exciting and intense. A real-time dashboard to check on players chosen, money spent, balance etc is a good innovation. The free Hit feature was a big hit! Overall it was an enjoyable experience despite being virtual. We are excited to be a part of this Legends tournament and look forward to some great cricket.”

Irfan Pathan, Bhilwara Kings captain, added:

“I am really happy with the team, especially the fast bowling unit, we have the best fast bowling unit. We have a couple of good finishers and we have a good left-arm spinner in Monty Panesar and a few all-rounders. So looking forward to this team I am really confident that we can do well if we can have the availability of all players and they are all fit.”

Legends League Cricket will be a four-team tournament and a 16-match affair. The league will start on September 16, 2022, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata and will be played across five different cities, including Lucknow, New Delhi, Cuttack and Jodhpur.

Teams at a glance

Gujarat Giants: Virender Sehwag (Captain), Parthiv Patel, Elton Chigumbura, Chris Tremlett, Richard Levi, Graeme Swann, Joginder Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Daniel Vettori, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Binny, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lendl Simmons, Manvinder Bisla, Ajantha Mendis 

India Capitals: Gautam Gambhir (Captain), Ravi Bopara, Farveez Maharoof, Mitchell Johnson, Jacques Kallis, Pankaj Singh, Ross Taylor, Prosper Utseya, John Mooney, Mashrafe Mortaza, Hamilton Masakadza, Rajat Bhatia, Liam Plunkett, Asghar Afghan, Denesh Ramdin, Pravin Tambe

Manipal Tigers: Harbhajan Singh (Captain), Brett Lee, Andrew Flintoff, VRV Singh, Parvinder Awana, Reetinder Sodhi, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Lance Klusener, Ryan Sidebottom, Mohammad Kaif, Phil Mustard, Muttiah Muralitharan

Bhilwara Kings: Irfan Pathan (Captain), Yusuf Pathan, Sudeep Tyagi, Tino Best, Owais Shah, Tim Bresnan, Shane Watson, Sreesanth, Nick Compton, Matt Prior, Samit Patel, Fidel Edwards, William Porterfield, Naman Ojha, Monty Panesar

Bhavya Das

My eagerness, interest and inclination towards sports has continuously been forging and fortifying my personality as a writer. My sincerity to it is strengthened by the strong foundations of my musical attribute.

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