Afridi and Razzaq team up with Renegades
Shahid Afridi won't be returning to Adelaide this summer, instead signing with the Melbourne Renegades for the Big Bash League. Afridi will be joined by his fellow Pakistan allrounder Abdul Razzaq as the two overseas players for the Renegades, who are based at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne's Docklands and have now named 16 of their 18-man roster.
Afridi had played for South Australia in last year's Big Bash but was keen to be teamed up with Razzaq, who has not yet made his domestic Twenty20 debut in Australia. Afridi told the Age the chance to join Razzaq in Melbourne was an "opportunity that I couldn't turn down even though I had better money offers from other teams".
The signings mean the Renegades have almost completed their recruitment, with only two playing positions remaining. They have also announced that James Brayshaw, the former South Australia batsman and now Melbourne media personality, will be the side's chairman.
Meanwhile, the Hobart Hurricanes have also finalised their second overseas player, with the England batsman Owais Shah set to join the squad. The Hurricanes have also signed the Queensland fast bowler Luke Feldman, as well as the Tasmania pair of Ben Hilfenhaus and Nick Kruger.
The Sydney sides have failed to lock in two key New South Wales players, the offspinner Nathan Hauritz and the batsman Usman Khawaja. The Perth Scorchers have picked up Khawaja, while also signing the spinner Michael Beer, and Hauritz has followed the lead of his New South Wales captain Simon Katich and headed home for the Big Bash League. While the former Western Australia player Katich signed with the Perth Scorchers, Hauritz, who until 2005-06 was a Queensland player, will hook up with the Brisbane Heat under the coaching of Darren Lehmann.
"The opportunity to work with 'Boof' Lehmann and get the opportunity to come home and see the family over Christmas was too good to pass up," Hauritz said. "Over the last few years spin bowling has taken the game on another course ... I look forward to playing well for the Heat and taking out the championship later on."
The squads so far
Adelaide Strikers Aiden Blizzard, Cameron Borgas, Tom Cooper, Callum Ferguson, Daniel Harris, Michael Klinger, Nathan Lyon, Aaron O'Brien, Kane Richardson.
Brisbane Heat Nick Buchanan, Daniel Christian, Ben Cutting, Ryan Harris, Nathan Hauritz, Chris Lynn, Michael Neser.
Hobart Hurricanes Travis Birt, Mark Cosgrove, Xavier Doherty, Luke Feldman, Evan Gulbis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Hogan, Matt Johnston, Nick Kruger, Rhett Lockyear, Tim Paine, RIcky Ponting. Overseas players: Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Owais Shah.
Melbourne Renegades Ryan Carters, Aaron Finch, Shane Harwood, Aaron Heal, Jayde Herrick, Michael Hill, Brad Hodge, Glenn Maxwell, Andrew McDonald, Brenton McDonald, Dirk Nannes, Nathan Reardon, Will Sheridan, Shaun Tait. Overseas players: Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi.
Melbourne Stars George Bailey, David Hussey, Chris Simpson, Adam Voges, Cameron White.
Perth Scorchers Tom Beaton, Michael Beer, Mark Cameron, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Michael Hussey, Simon Katich, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Marcus North, Luke Pomersbach, Nathan Rimmington, Luke Ronchi. Overseas players: Paul Collingwood, Herschelle Gibbs.
Sydney Sixers Ed Cowan, Moises Henriques, Peter Nevill, Ben Rohrer, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc.
Sydney Thunder Tim Cruickshank, Jason Floros, David Warner. Overseas players: Chris Gayle.