Former England captain Kevin Pietersen was drafted by St Lucia Zouks for his first season of the Caribbean Premier League. The batsman, however, is likely to miss the first part of the tournament, which starts on July 5, to fulfill his commitments towards Surrey in the NatWest t20 blast. Prior to that, Pietersen will be leading Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2014.
One of the notable omissions during Thursday's draft was Shahid Afridi who was not selected by any franchise. Tillakaratne Dilshan, Daniel Vettori, Tamim Iqbal and Netherlands' Tom Cooper were also not picked. However, the teams have a day to conduct trades and a final list of players for CPL 2014 will be released on Sunday.
Pietersen was the first player to be selected in the draft and had a salary slab of $80,000. He will be part of a squad that includes Brad Hodge, who will also be playing in the CPL for the first time. The franchise also recruited Pakistan's Sohail Tanvir and South Africa's Roelof van der Merwe.
Apart from Ajmal and Tanvir, there will be five other Pakistan players in the tournament - Mohammad Hafeez (Guyana), Ahmed Shehzad (Jamaica Tallawahs), Nasir Jamshed (Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel), Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik (Barbados Tridents).
Australia's Adam Voges is another new face and has been drafted by Jamaica, while his compatriot David Hussey will represent Antigua, alongside Sri Lanka's Thisara Perera. Martin Guptill (Guyana), Ireland's Kevin O'Brien (T&T) and Shakib Al Hasan (Barbados) have been retained by their respective franchises in keeping with the trend of the teams sticking to a core group of international players.
A majority of West Indies internationals who were part of the squad that exited from the World T20 on Thursday have also been retained by their respective franchises. Samuel Badree (T&T), Denesh Ramdin, Krishmar Santokie and Lendl Simmons (Guyana), Dwayne Smith (Barbados), Andre Russell (Jamaica), Andre Fletcher (St. Lucia) and Sheldon Cottrell (Antigua) make the list. Johnson Charles has moved from Antigua to St. Lucia for this season, while Ravi Rampaul, who missed the last tournament due to injury, has been selected by Barbados.
Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. He tweets here