Yusuf Pathan will represent Kowloon Cantons in Hong Kong T20 League    AFP
Yusuf Pathan will represent Kowloon Cantons in Hong Kong T20 League AFP

All-rounder Yusuf Pathan becomes the first Indian men’s cricketer to be drafted in any overseas Twenty20 (T20) league as he gets a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to play in the Hong Kong T20 League. Yusuf will represent Kowloon Cantons in the second season of the league and will have names like Shahid Afridi, Tymal Mills and Calum McLeod as his teammates in the tournament. Apart from these players, the tournament will feature accomplished cricketers like Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Darren Sammy, Johan Botha and James Franklin among others.

Cricket Hong Kong chief executive Tim Cutler told EspnCricinfo, “This is amazing news and we are very appreciative of the BCCI in granting this NOC [Non Objection Certificate. This will go a long way to help the development of the sport in the region and with even more stars still to be announced this is shaping up to be a superb tournament that will be enjoyed by millions across the world. The tireless work of the Cantons should also be acknowledged. Without the tenacity of [Cantons CEO] Urvashi Sethi-Sodhi this simply would not have happened and it is great to see the Cantons again lifting the event to greater heights with their hard work.”

Yusuf is known to have received NOC from both BCCI as well as Baroda Cricket Association.

I am very excited about being a part of the Kowloon Cantons family for the T20 in Hong Kong. The enthusiasm of the team is amazing and I can t wait to meet everyone. Go Cantons, the cricketer was quoted saying.

The four-team T20 League is scheduled to commence on March 8. There will be play-offs for the top two to qualify for the final slated on March 12.