Former Indian cricketer Robin Uthappa may become the first Indian player to play in the SA20 after registering for the auction ahead of the second season of the South African franchise T20 league. Naseem Shah and four other Pakistani players have also put up their names for the auction. The inaugural edition of SA20 featured no players from Pakistan or India.
Robin Uthappa, who announced his retirement from International cricket in September 2022, was seen plying his trade in the globe franchise T20 league and the Indian veteran would be a valuable addition to the team, as he is known for free-flowing batting at the top of the order.
Pakistan players Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Usman Qadir, and Shan Masood are set to be auctioned on September 27, with Robin Uthappa being the lone Indian player going under the hammer in Johannesburg. Last season’s auction didn’t include a single player from Pakistan, and none of the players were picked as a wildcard pick in the tournament.
Shan Masood, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Robin Uthappa, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Kumara, Colin de Grandhomme, Romario Shepherd, Brandon King, Adam Lyth, Josh Tongue, David Payne, Wayne Madsen, and Kane Richardson are among the prominent names who will go under the hammer in a total of 122 players in the list.
Besides, there will be a new category in the SA20 auction this year. Each team must include one rookie player going into the second season of the franchise league in the country.
According to the SA20 Press release, South African players who are 22 years of age or younger on the day of the auction and have never had a contract with SA20 previously, would be considered rookie players.
“Each rookie player has a set value, which will be deducted from the team’s salary cap of R39.1 million – an increase of R5.1 million from last season”.
“Recent South Africa U-19 captains Bryce Parsons, George van Heerden, and Juan James are among the Rookie player list, along with domestic first-class players such as Jonathan Bird, Ruan Terblanche and Tiaan van Vuuren.”
The auction is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. local time on September 27 in Johannesburg. There are 122 players from 14 different nations on the shortlist.
A minimum of ten South African players, a maximum of seven foreign players, a rookie player, and a wildcard are required for each squad.