Cape Town – Five West Indians were picked when a total of 314 players went under the hammer in the inaugural South Africa Twenty20 League (SA20) auction, bringing to nine the number of Caribbean cricketers chosen for the January-February 2023 tournament.
Antiguan fast bowler Alzarri Joseph was the most expensive buy of the five, sold to Johannesburg Super Kings for a little under U.S. $120 000. The franchise signed all-rounder Romario Shepherd before the aution on Monday.
Jamaican all-rounder Odean Smith was the only West Indian acquired by MI Cape Town. He went for close to U.S. $96 000 in the auction.
All-rounder Keemo Paul of Guyana and St Lucian wicketkeeper-batsman Johnson Charles will join previously drafted Barbadians Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers at Durban Super Giants.
Paul and Charles were bought for close to U.S. $48 000 and U.S. $24 000, respectively.
Barbadian Ramon Simmonds was acquired at a price of a little under U.S. $10 000 and will join fellow left-arm pacer Obed McCoy of St Vincent & the Grenadines at the Paarl Royals.
There will be no West Indians turning out for the Pretoria Capitals or Sunrisers Eastern Cape.
Among the West Indies players on the auction list who went unsold were Carlos Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Brandon King, Jayden Seales, Lendl Simmons, Hayden Walsh Jr, and Shai Hope.
Each of the six franchises, owned by Indian Premier League (IPL) team owners, was allowed to sign a maximum of five players – three international, one South African national, and one uncapped local player – in a pre-auction draft.
Overall, they may sign seven overseas players and 10 South Africans in their 17-member squads, but only four foreign players are allowed in the final 11.
The SA20 League is only the second major T20 franchise tournament, after the IPL, to hold an auction system for player signings.
Franchises play each other twice in the tournament, followed by two semi-finals and the final. There will be a total of 33 matches.