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Mumbai Indians pick nine US players in draft for New York franchise

New York, March 20 (IANS) A day after acquiring the franchise and unveiling the team name and logo, MI New York drafted a very strong set of local players in the Major League Cricket (MLC) Draft held in Dallas, Texas.

Mumbai Indians now have a cricket franchise in three different continents, four different countries, and five different leagues, on Sunday.

At the MLC draft, MI New York drafted the first two USA-born players in the form of former captain Steven Taylor, all-rounder Nosthush Kenjige, current USA captain Monank Patel along with wicketkeeper Shayan Jahangir and fast bowler Kyle Phillip, MI New York informed in a release on Monday.

The team also added a lot of experience with Hammad Azam, Ehsan Adil and Sarbjeet Ladda, the legspinner who has played for as many as three different IPL franchises in the past. The team picked promising wicketkeeper-batter Saideep Ganesh in the U-23 category as their final pick of the day.

MI New York has a very healthy contingent of USA players, with four of them currently on tour in Namibia, while two others have also been a part of the squad in the past. Apart from the excellent local talent, the team has three other players who have extensive experience of being a part of franchise leagues.

The inaugural season of Major League Cricket will kick off on July 13 in Texas.

In the draft, the all-rounder Steven Taylor, the first USA player to score a T20 century, was their Round 1 Draft pick while in Round 2 they selected another all-rounder, Hammad Azam, who has played for Pakistan at the 2010 U19 World Cup and also represented Multan Sultans, Peshawar Zalmi and Lahore Qalandars in the PSL.

Right-arm fast-medium bowler Ehsan Adil, their Round 3 Draft Pick, was a member of the Pakistan team at the 2012 U19 World Cup and has played for Lahore Qalandars in the PSL

All-rounder Nosthush Kenjige, a slow left-arm orthodox spinner, is the third highest wicket-taker for the USA in ODIs and has also taken a hat trick vs Canada in 2017 in the Auty Cup.

Wicketkeeper Monank Patel, their Round 5 Draft Pick, has played 38 ODIs and 20 T20Is for the USA and is the 4th highest run-getter for the USA in T20Is. Leg-break bowler Sarbjeet Ladda is their Round 6 Draft Pick and has been part of Delhi Daredevils, Gujarat Lions and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.

Shayan Jahangir, Kyle Phillip and Saideep Ganesh were picked in the last three rounds of the Draft.

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