Friday’s draft confirmed the make-up of the six teams taking part in the inaugural Euro T20 slam.
The tournament is aimed at boosting cricket in Ireland, Scotland, and the Netherlands. It’s fitting then, that Eoin Morgan is becoming its poster boy so soon after lifting the World Cup with England.
For the same reasons that the Dublin-born batsman has given his backing to The Hundred, the franchise format seeks to make the game more accessible and attract new fans.
How does it work?
The six teams awarded a franchise back in April were as follows: Dublin Chiefs, Belfast Titans, Edinburgh Rocks, Glasgow Giants, Amsterdam Knights, and Rotterdam Rhinos.
The draft, which took place in London, was entirely open. However, by chance, all 18 Irish players will be playing for either Dublin or Belfast. Likewise, high-profile Scotsmen Kyle Coetzer and Callum MacLeod are both representing Edinburgh.
Each side has one ‘icon’ players, while other big names such as Dale Steyn and Babar Azam have been brought in as ‘marquee’ signings. Unsurprisingly, the icons – Morgan, Shahid Afridi, Rashid Khan, Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, and Shane Watson - are also the top earners, receiving €71,000 each.
A number of high-profile coaches will be involved, including Herschelle Gibbs (Rotterdam), Mark Ramprakash (Edinburgh), and Daniel Vettori (Dublin).
There will be one round in each country, each team playing everyone twice before the semi-finals. The final will take place in Malahide, County Dublin on September 22.
Players to look out for
While there are no Indian players present, as their BCCI and IPL contracts prevent them from taking part, there are countless other familiar faces.
Eoin Morgan (Dublin Chiefs)
England’s World Cup winning skipper will lead his hometown side weeks after lifting the biggest trophy of all.
Rashid Khan (Rotterdam Rhinos)
The Afghanistan international remains the world’s number one ranked bowler in this format, taking 75 T20 wickets for his country at the tender age of just 20.
Mohammad Amir (Dublin Chiefs)
The left-armer continues to bolster his reputation, taking 17 wickets for Pakistan at the World Cup.
Martin Guptill (Edinburgh Rocks)
The New Zealander will have the chance to put a miserable summer behind him, struggling for much of a World Cup that ended in the run out that sealed England’s triumph.
Shahid Afridi (Belfast Titans)
The Pakistan legend is now 39 but will join the Titans as their ‘icon’ selection.
Shane Watson (Amsterdam Knights)
The 38-year-old hit 124 not out against India in his most famous T20 innings in 2016.
Dale Steyn (Glasgow Giants)
The South African, the Proteas’ highest Test wicket-taker, will be returning to cricket after an injury that scuppered his summer and his last season in the IPL.