Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane again headlines Associate talent in T20 franchise league cricket, taken by the Jamaica Tallawahs in this year’s CPL Draft.

Lamichhane will earn a cool US$91,000^ for the tournament, on par with Afghan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi, who was picked up by the St. Lucia Zouks.

It’s a dramatic rise for the boy-wonder of Sauraha, who earned just US$5,000 in his first CPL season at the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots.

This year’s draft was held via a Zoom conference call on June 24, before being cut, edited and played out to millions of viewers overnight.

In a steal that perhaps exposes flaws in the CPL draft rules, USA’s Ali Khan, who has enjoyed a prosperous T20 journeyman career around the world, was retained by Trinbago Knight Riders as their ICC Americas player for just US$3,000.

Other ICC Americas selections included fellow USA internationals Jessy Singh and Sunny Sohal, while Canadian left-arm-orthodox spinner Saad bin Zafar was picked up by the St. Lucia Zouks. USA U19 international Ryan Persaud was picked up by the Tallawahs, with former Pakistan domestic player Shayan Jahangir, now based in Houston, signed by the Barbados Tridents. Canada’s Nicholas Kirton was picked up outside the ICC Americas round, joining Sandeep at the Tallawahs.

One glaring omission from the ICC Americas round was Bermuda all-rounder Kamau Leverock, overlooked by all six teams despite enjoying a prosperous 2019 across T20 and 50-over cricket for his country. Striking at 182.69 with the bat, Leverock was also Bermuda’s leading wicket-taker at the T20 World Cup Qualifier in UAE last year, taking 8 wickets at an economy of 8.

Afghanistan’s presence at the tournament is sure to be felt with a handful of representatives around the squads. Wicketkeeper batsman Rahmanullah Gurbaz cashed in on success against the West Indies at international level, signing for the Barbados Tridents and joining leg-spinning superstar Rashid Khan. 15-year-old Noor Ahmad joins Mohammed Nabi at the Zouks, and Naveen-ul-haq will team up with Qais Ahmad for Guyana.

Zimbabwe will be represented at the tournament, with batting all-rounder Sikandar Raza taken by the Trinbago Knight Riders.

The 2020 CPL is scheduled from August 18 to September 10, and is set to be held behind closed doors, subject to permission from the local government.

^$130,000 was originally reported. Prior to the CPL, organisers requested players in the top eight rounds to take a 30% pay cut which saw Sandeep’s eventual bracket reduce from $130,000 to $91,000. At the time of publishing, this had not been confirmed either way, but was c We will update when this information is received

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