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In a historic decision, the BCCI has decided to include five Afghanistan cricketers including swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad, in the IPL auction pool. Shahzad's hard hitting strokeplay had grabbed attention during the last edition of World T20 organised in India.
The others who have made it to the auctions include batsman Asghar Stanikzhai, pacer Dawlat Zadran, all-rounder Mohammed Nabi and bowler Rashid Khan Arman. The sixth associate nation cricketer is India born Chirag Suri of United Arab Emirates.
India and Afghanistan share a wonderful relation and the step to include Afghan cricketers in IPL is a part of BCCI's initiative to help them get a hang of top flight cricket, share dressing room with world famous players and integrate that in their system.
It can be safely assumed that at least Shahzad with a baseprice of Rs 50 lakh or pacer Zadran with a Rs 30 lakh baseprice would not have been kept in the final auction poolwithout the consent of the eight franchises and BCCI's wish.
The final auction pool is always created after pruningthe initial list and asking the franchises to name the playersthey want to go under hammer.
Shahzad is the most popular among Afghanistan cricketers with a strike-rate of 136 plus in 55 T20 Internationals in which he hit a hundred and 11 half-centuries.
Rashid Khan Arman may find it difficult to get a team with a base price of Rs 50 lakh. Stanikzhai's base price is Rs 20 lakh while Nabi has kept it at Rs 30 lakh.