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Ex-Kiwi batsman Astle first to join American Premier League

Wellington, Apr.27 (ANI): Former New Zealand batsman Nathan Astle has become the first player from his country to be recruited by the American Premier League, world cricket’s latest Twenty20 tournament.

According to a Sunday Star report, Astle is one of eight former internationals linked with the Premium World 11 for the unsanctioned six-team league scheduled to start in New York in October.

The Sydney Morning Herald said news of Astle’s recruitment follows New Zealand cricketing great Sir Richard Hadlee’s confirmation that he had joined the APL as an executive consultant.

And if the APL, which is in its embryonic stages, went ahead it would likely attract more former New Zealand players, with even star all rounder Jacob Oram admitting there was some temptation.

Entrepreneur Jay Mir, the president and chief executive of the American Sports and Entertainment Group are promoting the APL.

It is scheduled to start on a 10,000-capacity converted baseball field in Staten Island, and Mir has mostly targeted players who are already frozen out of international cricket on account of their involvement in the Indian Cricket League, which faces an uncertain future.

The ICL has struck financial problems and its players have spoken of not being paid in recent months.

The Herald reported the Premium World 11 would be coached by former England spinner John Emburey, and their confirmed signings were Astle, Australians Jason Gillespie and Damien Martyn, South Africans Lance Klusener and Nantie Hayward, England’s Graeme Hick and Adam Hollioake and Sri Lankan Marvan Atapattu.

The Pakistan team would be coached by former test captain Moin Khan and include Inzamam-ul-Haq and Abdul Razzaq, while the four other teams would be the Americans, Indians, Bangladeshis and West Indians.

The ICC and national governing bodies have warned current players against signing with the new American league because, like the ICL, it is unauthorised cricket. (ANI)

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