Inaugral edition of Afghanistan Premier league from Friday
New Delhi : The much-awaited Afghanistan Premier League will kick-start from October 5 and will feature legendary names from world cricket for the five franchises.
The five teams - Paktia Panthers, Kabul Zwanan, Balkh Legends, Nangarhar Leopards and Kandahar Knights - will be representing different provinces of Afghanistan.
The Nangarhar franchise, which is considered the most balanced side among the five teams with big names from the world of cricket playing for them, will be coached by former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad.
The team will be led by the Jamaican Andre Russell and comprises of world class bowlers like Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan and Imran Janat, who will lead the bowling department. The batting side will be spearheaded by the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Andre Russell, Mohammad Hafeez, who will be on the lookout for big scores in the first season.
Paktia Panthers will be led by former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, whose role will be to bring stability in the middle order batting line up and get the necessary wickets in tough situations. Cameron Delport, Chris Jordan and Luke Wright has come on board to strengthen the line ups both in the batting as well as the bowling department.
Kabul Zwanan will be captained by the sensational right-arm leg break bowler Rashid Khan. He had a brilliant season representing Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL) with 21 wickets and would want to continue doing the same in this year's APL edition. The team also has some remarkable players like Luke Ronchi and Wayne Parnell who will add balance to the line ups.
Afghanistan national cricket team captain Mohammad Nabi will lead Balkh Legends from the front. The team will depend a lot on Chris Gayle's batting who will provide a fiery start to set huge targets in key competitive matches.
The bowling department will be lead by Mohamad Nawaz and Ben Laughlin. The legends constitute young talented players like Darwish Rasooli, Ikrain Alikhil who will be great assets to team.
Meanwhile, former New Zealand wicketkeeper batsmen Brendon Mccullum will lead Kandahar Knights and will consist of emerging players like Abdul Baqi, Waqar Salamkhel and Wahidullah Shafaq who will be the key players to watch out for.
All the matches of the APL 2018 will be telecast Discovery Communications India's sports channel DSPORT.