Several Pakistani players made breakthroughs in the Major League Cricket draft, managing to secure spots in foreign leagues owned by Indian entities. Hammad Azam, Ehsan Adil, Mukhtar Ahmad, Saad Ali, Nauman Anwar, Sami Aslam, Shayan Jahangir, and Saif Badar were all selected by different teams during the draft.
However, there is a caveat: these players are not registered as Pakistani internationals but rather as US residents. MI New York, affiliated with the Mumbai Indians’ global franchise program, picked Hammad Azam, Ehsan Adil, and Shayan Jahangir. Other teams in the franchise program include MI Cape Town (SA20), MI Emirates (ILT20), and Mumbai Indians-Women (WPL).
Mukhtar Ahmad and Saad Ali will join Washington Freedom, while Nauman Anwar was selected by the Seattle Orcas. Sami Aslam will represent the Texas Super Kings, and Saif Badar has been chosen by the Los Angeles Knight Riders.
Despite being highly talented players with international experience, Pakistani cricketers have often been overlooked in leagues predominantly owned by Indians. However, Hammad Azam and Sami Aslam, both recognizable names in cricket, had to relocate to the USA to pursue their cricketing dreams, and their efforts seem to be paying off.
Sanctioned by USA Cricket, the inaugural season of Major League Cricket will commence on July 13, 2023, featuring six participating teams.