Australian news June 29, 2011

Million-dollar salary cap for Big Bash League

ESPNcricinfo staff

The eight new teams in Australia's Big Bash League will each have a $1 million salary cap to spend on their 18 players. Cricket Australia has confirmed the figure, and while the minimum playing contract has been set at $20,000, there is no maximum, so international stars like Chris Gayle are free to demand hefty six-figure sums.

Gayle has reportedly set his price at $250,000, which would leave little room to manoeuvre for whichever side signs him up. The Perth Scorchers are expected to make an offer to Gayle, who has been a major drawcard for Western Australia in the Big Bash over the past two seasons, but other teams could also chase his services.

The teams can begin signing up players from 9am on Thursday, and they have three weeks to secure at least 14 players. By December 9, a week before the competition kicks off, each team must have signed 18 men, which can include up to two international players.

Shahid Afridi will be another international star in the sights of the city-based sides after his retirement from international cricket, but the pool of potential signings will be small, with most countries involved in international series during December and January. The recently-retired Muttiah Muralitharan would have been a potential drawcard, but he has instead chosen to play in New Zealand's domestic Twenty20 tournament.