Gayle all-in for the inaugural season of the Afghanistan international T20 league
T20 Global legend and batting star for the Windies, Chris Gayle has been signed to play in the inaugural Afghanistan Premier League (APL T20) which is slated to take place on October this year. Gayle will join the likes of Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Brendon McCullum, Misbah ul Haq, Kumar Sangakkara and Tamim Iqbal, who have also been roped in by various Afghan city-based franchises to play their trades in the game.
The newly formed APL T20 will consist of five teams - one each from Kabul, Kandahar, Nangarhar, Paktia and Balkh. Each team will face every other team twice in the group stages, after which the top four teams will advance to the semis. The games will be played from October 5 to October 23 at the historic Sharjah cricket stadium.
Afghanistan Cricket Board (CEO) Shafiq Stanikzai and chairman Atif Marshal are extremely delighted at the giant strides that the nation is taking, across the world of cricket. It was earlier this year that they received Test status, playing their first ever match against India. The side also featured in series wins against Bangladesh and Ireland earlier this year.
"The rise of Afghanistan cricket has been phenomenal. The national team has performed brilliantly in recent years in international cricket and the cricket board has worked tirelessly to develop the sport in the country," Atif Mashal said, before adding: "We planned this tournament last year and today we have taken this important step. This league is a new chapter in the history of Afghan cricket that will benefit all major stakeholders".
"Players will be able to play competitive cricket and our youngsters will be able to learn from some of the legends of the game. Success has no boundaries and with APL, we are taking our cricket beyond borders," he concluded.