Global T20 draft: Best picks

Kieron Pollard was the first official draft pick for the Global T20 tournament. He joined David Miller as the two marquee players for the Bloemfontein Blazers. Together they represent probably the most intimidating pairing of international and local power hitting. With Pollard also contributing with the ball, the Blazers probably got off to the best start in the draft

That was just the first of a two day draft process that took place towards the end of the eighth month. On the second day, the eight teams participated in 16 rounds and 128 players were drafted in total. It was a binary bonanza

This piece looks at some of the best picks on that second day. A lot of different factors go into the draft process in any sport, and rational thought isn't always the most important. Here the aim is to identify the picks which give the most value in comparison to what was available at the time. Obviously, you want to recruit a net contributor but not everybody can select Chris Morris - salvaging an average player in the later rounds of the draft could be just as valuable

Speaking of he whom not everybody can select...


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Round 1, Pick 1: Chris Morris

It may be generous to give credit to a team for what should be an obvious pick. On the other hand, making the obvious decision doesn't always happen. This is the only time where I feel more than 90% confident that a team made the best available choice

I have Morris ranked as the 17th best bowler and the 5th best batsman in the entire draft. That batting ranking may raise eyebrows but he has posted a 150+ strike rate in each of his past four seasons. He tends to bat late but there is no reason why he couldn't bat higher up the order; his T20 average is 24.8 - better than many top order batsmen. Even at 7 or 8 he gives the traditional middle order licence to start hitting out early, safe in the knowledge that Morris will go even quicker once they foul out

Adding his contributions with the ball - four solid overs, taking wickets, with a decent economy - it becomes clear that no other player provides the same value or potential with both bat and ball

 None of the other players still available in the draft (after the marquee stars) offered the same all-round combination with both bat and ball

None of the other players still available in the draft (after the marquee stars) offered the same all-round combination with both bat and ball


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Round 1, Pick 3: Colin Ingram

OK - so I didn't get very far into the draft before my next great pick. Coming   off a phenomenal season with Glamorgan, I had Ingram as the best batsman available in the entire draft. In the last two years, he has posted an average of 40.3 with a strike rate of 156. No other potential draftee comes close

A fair criticism would be that Ingram tends to play in slightly weaker competitions (Blast & Ram Slam). But even taking opposition quality into account nobody else can match his recent performance levels. Hitting more than 2 sixes per innings is a mean feat in any league

Whilst nowhere near the level of Morris, he can also contribute as a bowler; he even has a slightly better economy - 7.48. Nobody is going to rely on Ingram to deliver 4 overs of top quality bowling, but a batsman who can produce one or two overs of controlled legbreak only adds to his overall value

 Nobody has been more prolific in the Natwest T20 Blast in the last 2 years when it comes to clearing the ropes

Nobody has been more prolific in the Natwest T20 Blast in the last 2 years when it comes to clearing the ropes


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Round 4, Pick 6: Lungisani Ngidi

Ngidi's name was called between two big-name Pakistani bowlers, Imad Wasim and Junaid Khan, and the local youngster may be just as good. Benoni had selected two internationals within their first three picks and, despite already possessing some decent firepower with Albie Morkel and Wahab Riaz, this seemed like a logical selection

In 30 career matches, Ngidi has a decent economy and takes a wicket per game. Admittedly, that career consists almost entirely of spells against weaker domestic opposition but he also produced in his debut T20I series earlier this year. Against a touring Sri Lanka side, he dismissed their entire top four in one match whilst conceding just 4.75 runs per over. Across the entire three match series, he had equally impressive figures, taking 6 wickets at an economy of 5.50

If the early indications are accurate then Bononi have a absolute steal - a productive 21-year-old bowler who could provide value to the team for several years to come

 Few young players have such a good start to their T20I careers. If Ngidi can replicate the value of Shadab Khan then Benoni Zalmi have a gem

Few young players have such a good start to their T20I careers. If Ngidi can replicate the value of Shadab Khan then Benoni Zalmi have a gem


Round 6, Pick 2: Eddie Leie

Benoni Zalmi definitely seemed to have a bowler-first strategy for the draft. Complementing Ngidi and their other pace bowlers, they selected a spinner with their sixth round pick. And my numbers actually suggested that Eddie Leie could be the best of the lot. Whilst that is certainly not true - it is a function of accumulating impressive figures against lesser domestic competition - it is worth looking at those figures in more detail

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Domestically, Leie is an experienced hand who takes wickets (1.2 per match) and doesn't concede too many runs (7.23 economy) despite . He has also contributed a couple seasons in the more challenging Caribbean Premier League and his figures were actually slightly better than in the domestic leagues

His team will not need Leie to break opposing lineups given that they already have a strong pace attack; his presence merely rounds out an impressive bowling corps. Overall, having sensibly opted for Jason Roy over Malinga as their International star, Benoni concentrated on establishing a strong bowling lineup, safe in the knowledge that they could pick up contributors with the bat further down the draft


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Round 14, Pick 6: Stephen Myburg

Finally, we come to a player who was missed by many of the other teams who had already maxed out on their International quota of players. Their loss is Pretoria's gain as they lucked into fantastic value for a late round pick. Generally, Pretoria didn't seem to select great International players (Dane Vilas and wild-card Steven Finn) preferring instead to focus on finding some valuable local talent. This was their reward

Opening the batting for the Netherlands, his averages are almost exactly, well, average. He stays in for 23 balls, scores at a rate of 127, and averages 29.7. Playing for an associate member nation, he gets less opportunity to play against the big boys, but when he does he largely maintains those figures

No pick in the 14th round is going to be too exciting. Finding an experienced average player should be considered a big victory at this stage

 You failed to pick any International stars so far... deep into the later rounds... why not recruit some experience?

You failed to pick any International stars so far... deep into the later rounds... why not recruit some experience?