Mohammad Shahzad

New Delhi: In a historic first, the BCCI has decided to include five Afghanistan cricketers including hard-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad, whose batting had grabbed eyeballs during the last edition of World T20 in India, in the IPL auction pool.

The others are, batsman Asghar Stanikzhai, pacer Dawlat Zadran, all-rounder Mohammad Nabi and bowler Rashid Khan Arman. The sixth associate nation cricketer is India born Chirag Suri of UAE.

It can be safely assumed that at least Shahzad with a base price of Rs 50 lakh or pacer Zadran with a Rs 30 lakh base price would not have been kept in the final auction pool without the consent of the eight franchises.

Shahzad is the most popular among Afghanistan cricketers with a strike-rate of 136 plus in 55 T20Is in which he hit a hundred and 11 half centuries.