Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum and Kevin Pietersen are among the marquee international players who have been signed up by Cricket South Africa (CSA) for its new T20 tournament, scheduled to begin in 2017-18.
CSA has announced that the eight players - Gayle, McCullum, Pietersen, Dwayne Bravo, Lasith Malinga, Eoin Morgan, Kieron Pollard and Jason Roy - have agreed to two-year contracts and will go into a mini-draft, with the franchises each bidding to be allocated one. Franchise owners will be asked to consider which cities certain players already have links to before making their picks.
"We are thrilled by the calibre of the top eight international players we have lined up to participate in our new T20 League," CSA chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, said. "They are all stars in their own right and will add great value to the franchise teams they will represent.
"This top quality list of players will set a high standard for our tournament. With each one of them [being] a household name in the world of cricket, we can certainly look forward to some enthralling contests that will grip the imagination of fans in South Africa and around the globe.
"The high level of interest from players and sponsors to participate in our league is proof of the great attraction of South Africa as a global destination. This is indeed very exciting for the country."
CSA is hoping to completely overhaul its domestic T20 offering, creating a competition similar to the IPL and Big Bash, with private ownership, foreign investment and a roster of international names. The eight franchise teams will also be allocated a marquee South Africa player.
The threat of Kolpak departures to England was also behind CSA's planning for the league, which is expected to run in November-December this year.