Four franchises -- Adani Sportsline owned Gujarat Giants, GMR Sportss India Capitals, Manipal Group's Manipal Tigers and Bhilwara Group's Bhilwara Kings -- on Friday picked 59 cricketers from the players' draft held virtually with a combined purse of Rs 32 crore, for the upcoming Legends League Cricket (LLC).
The players' draft included 79 cricketers (20 went unsold) and each team had a purse of Rs 8 crore each. Each team will now have three more days to submit their final squad wherein they can buy more players with the available purse.
"Among the teams, Manipal Tigers spent the most amount of Rs 6,91,20,000 and have a remaining purse of 1,08,80,000. Tigers were followed closely by India Capitals as they spent Rs 6,38,80,000 and Gujarat Giants who splurged Rs 5,51,80,000 on their stars. Bhilwara Kings were the most economical as they spent Rs 5,62,20,000," said Raman Raheja, CEO and Co-Founder Legends League Cricket, in a media release.
"All of them have made judicious spending, the player mix seems great and it will be very interesting to see what each of them do now on the field," he added.
The teams had already selected their captains and were given a chance to choose one more player on their own accord.
Manipal Tigers named former Australian pace sensation Brett Lee in their squad while Gujarat went for their homegrown hero and former India wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel. India Capitals named Ravi Bopara even as Bhilwara Kings picked Yusuf Pathan, who will now get a chance to team up with his brother Irfan in the tournament.
Gujarat Giants, too, did their best to strike a nice balance in their team. Besides Patel, they have picked Sri Lanka's mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis and former New Zealand captain and left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori. West Indies batter Lendl Simmons is likely to open with captain Virender Sehwag at the top while Mitchell McClenaghan will spearhead the pace bowling department.
Another Australian speedster Mitchell Johnson will star in the tournament after being picked by India Capitals. The left-arm fast bowler will be supported by former England pacer Liam Plunkett. The team will also see former South Africa captain and legendary all-rounder Jacques Kallis don their jersey while Ross Taylor will discharge batting duties with captain Gautam Gambhir.
"Really happy with the squad that India Capitals have put on the table. Congratulations to Ruchir (GM) and the team for the fabulous job," said Gambhir, Indian Capitals Captain.
Besides Lee, Manipal also picked up the spinning wizard Muttiah Muralitharan. The former Sri Lankan off-spinner would get a chance to play with another off-spinning legend Harbhajan Singh, who is also the team's captain.
The Tigers' other top buys were former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener and former Sri Lanka wicket-keeper Romesh Kaluwitherana, who played a crucial role to help his country win the 1996 World Cup.
For Bhilwara, former Australia all-rounder and winner of the 2015 ODI World Cup Shane Watson was the star pick. Besides him, the team also picked Sreesanth and Monty Panesar among others.
"I am really happy with the team, especially the fast bowling unit, we have the best fast bowling unit. We have a couple of good finishers and we have a good left arm spinner in Monty Panesar and few all-rounders. So looking forward to this team, I am really confident that we can do well if we can have the availability of all players and they are all fit," said Irfan Pathan, the Bhilwara Kings Skipper.
The Legends League Cricket will be a four-team tournament and a 16-match affair. The league will start on September 16 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata and will be hosted in five different cities, including Lucknow, New Delhi, Cuttack and Jodhpur.
Gujarat Giants: Virender Sehwag (Captain) Parthiv Patel; Elton Chigumbura; Chris Tremlett; Richard Levi; Graeme Swann; Joginder Sharma; Ashoke Dinda; Daniel Vettori; Kevin O'brien; Stuart Binny; Mitchell Mcclenaghan; Lendl Simmons; Manvinder Bisla; Ajantha Mendis
India Capitals: Gautam Gambhir (Captain), Ravi Bopara, Farveez Maharoof, Mitchell Johnson, Jacques Kallis, Pankaj Singh, Ross Taylor, Prosper Utseya, John Mooney, Mashrafe Mortaza, Hamilton Masakadza, Rajat Bhatia, Liam Plunkett, Asghar Afghan, Denesh Ramdin, Pravin Tambe.
Manipal Tigers: Harbhajan Singh (Captain) Brett Lee ; Andrew Flintoff; Vrv Singh Parvinder Awana; Reetinder Sodhi; Romesh Kaluwitharana; Dimitri Mascarenhas; Lance Klusener; Ryan Sidebottom; Mohammad Kaif; Phil Mustard; Muttiah Muralitharan
Bhilwara Kings: Irfan Pathan (Captain), Yusuf Pathan,Sudeep Tyagi, Tino Best, Owais Shah, Tim Bresnan, Shane Watson, Sreesanth, Nick Compton, Matt Prior, Samit Patel, Fidel Edwards, William Porterfield, Naman Ojha, Monty Panesar