Kingston: Former Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has been confirmed as the sixth and final international franchise player for this year's Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Muralitharan, who has taken more international wickets than any other player in history, with 1347 scalps across Test, ODI and Twenty20 International formats, will line up in the inaugural franchise-based tournament that will take place in six countries in July and August.
"I am really looking forward to playing in the first ever CPL - it is going to be a fantastic spectacle for fans and a great experience for all players involved," Muralitharan said.
"I am good friends with a number of the West Indian players, especially Chris Gayle as we play together in IPL, and having the chance to play on a team with guys competing in their home countries will be fantastic for me. I am also excited that there will be so many young West Indian players involved in the tournament and I hope to pass on some of my cricketing experiences as the tournament progresses. I can't wait for it to get started!" he said in a release.
The 41-year-old, currently playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL, slots in along with other international stars Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist from Australia, New Zealand's Ross Taylor, Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez and South African Herschelle Gibbs as confirmed big-name signings.
Also confirmed are six West Indies franchise players - Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels. The players' draft, which is set to take place on May 24, will determine who will be playing where, with six franchises to be based in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago to be announced.
A total of 90 players will be contracted for the CPL. Each of the six Franchise teams will have 15 players. All the teams are required to have a minimum number of local players.
At least four of them must be under the age of 23, and teams can also field a maximum of four international players. The remainder of the team must consist of regional and/or local players.