Home > Cricket News > Smith, Vettori sign up for India’s official T20 league

Smith, Vettori sign up for India’s official T20 league

NEW DELHI (AFP) — Test captains Graeme Smith of South Africa and New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori will play in the official Indian Premier League (IPL) next year, officials said.

The Twenty20 league, to be organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in April, has also signed up South African opener Herschelle Gibbs and West Indian veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Pakistani batsman Mohammad Yousuf, who has also been associated with the breakaway Indian Cricket League bankrolled by Zee Telefilms, was among the players named by the IPL on Tuesday.

Other new players in the official list are Chaminda Vaas of Sri Lanka, former Australian opener Justin Langer, Scott Styris of New Zealand and current South African internationals A.B. de Villiers, Ashwell Prince and Albie Morkel. The induction of the 11 new players takes the count of international cricketers joining the IPL to 22.

Among the players named earlier were retired Australian greats Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath and Sri Lankans Mahela Jayawardene and Sanath Jayasuriya.

“We had made a promise to the cricket-loving masses of India for some truly international class high-octane action through the Twenty20 format in the IPL,” said BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi.

“It is in line with this promise and philosophy that we have signed some of the best cricketing talent on display internationally, including over five players that have captained their respective countries.

“We are in talks with some very promising talent and should shortly be making some further announcements.”

The IPL league in April offers three million dollars in prize money and will have eight teams to be bought by franchisees. The top two sides will qualify for the international Champions Twenty20 League to be played at an yet undecided venue in October next year.

Teams could include up to four internationals besides domestic players and local youngsters. South African Smith said he was looking forward to playing in the Indian Twenty20 competition.

“The outpouring of emotions when India lifted the inaugural World Twenty20 Championship is the stuff legends are made of and as a cricketer I have always loved the passion and enthusiasm of the cricket loving public of India,” Smith said in a statement.

“T20 cricket is an exciting new format which should further spread the appeal of the game and the success of the World Championship proves that it is here to stay.”

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