Seven Pakistan players have made the cut for the next Indian Premier League auction after the lifting of their competition ban, while fresh English talent is conspicuously absent from the 51-man shortlist.
Pakistan players were banned from the last IPL due to the political fallout from the Mumbai terrorist attacks, but have been allowed back in for the third edition of the lucrative Twenty20 league, to be played from March 12 to April 25.
Pakistan's Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi, young batting sensation Umar Akmal and fast improving paceman Mohammad Aamir are among the shortlisted Pakistan players named on Thursday, along with spinner Saeed Ajmal, hard-hitting opening batsman Imran Nazir and allrounders Rana Naved and Abdul Razzaq.
While Pakistan players missed out last season, England players look like being absent from the upcoming campaign. None were on the shortlist for the Jan 19 auction, with IPL commissioner Lalit Modi quoted on cricinfo.com as saying their absence was due to "new conditions imposed by the ECB." The shortlist released on Thursday was said to be final, meaning even late negotiations between the English and Indian cricket boards _ thought to center on the unwillingness of the ECB to have its players absent from the early part of its domestic season _ would be too late to get England players involved.
The auction, in which franchises bid for players based on annual salaries, will add new players to the existing international mix of those on existing multi-year contracts.
Australia attracted the most players in the shortlist of new recruits with 11. It is followed by South Africa (9), Sri Lanka (8), West Indies (8), Pakistan (7), New Zealand (4) and one each from Bangladesh, Canada, Holland and Zimbabwe.
The auction allows teams to supplement their squads, adding to players on multi-year contracts carrying over from previous seasons.
Australia: Doug Bollinger, Peter Siddle, Brad Haddin, Phillip Hughes, Ashley Noffke, Jason Krejza, Ben Laughlin, Graham Manou, Damien Martyn, Clint McKay, Adam Voges.
South Africa: Yusuf Abdulla, Zander de Bruyn, Justin Kemp, Rory Kleinveldt, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Johan van der Wath, Vaughn van Jaarsveld.
Sri Lanka: Thilina Kandamby, Nuwan Kulasekera, Thisara Perera, Upul Tharanga, Kaushalya Weeraratne, Chanaka Welegedara, Chamara Silva, Nuwan Zoysa.
West Indies: Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Daren Ganga, Wavell Hinds, Kieron Pollard, Kemar Roach, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons. Pakistan: Mohammad Aamir, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Akmal, Rana Naved, Imran Nazir, Abdul Razzaq.
New Zealand: Shane Bond, Grant Elliott, Nathan McCullum, Lou Vincent.
Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan.
Canada: Rizwan Cheema.
Zimbabwe: Murray Goodwin.
Netherlands: Ryan ten Doeschate.