Kingston, Jamaica: Pakistan‘s brilliant all-rounder Shahid Afridi was the star pick in the Player Draft for the 2015 Caribbean Premier League as new boys St Kitts and Nevis made an immediate impact on the CPL.

The competition’s newest team were the only side to have a pick in the opening round after the other five decided to retain their number one choice from last year and they used it to sign up the Pakistan batsman, who is known as ‘Boom Boom’ for his huge hitting.

Other international stars Lasith Malinga (Guyana), Jacques Kallis (Trinidad), Ross Taylor (St Lucia) and Mahela Jayawardene (Jamaica) were picked in the second round along with West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels, who, like Afridi, was picked up by St Kitts and Nevis.

Barbados skipper Kieron Pollard said the reigning champions were delighted with the line-up they finished up with. “We got what we wanted,” he said. “We retained the core of our team and tried to go for a different direction, looking for more hungry players, and we did exactly what we wanted to do. We knew we wanted Jason Holder on the fifth pick and we got him.”

Trinidad and Tobago captain Dwayne Bravo was at the draft and was pleased with their selection, which includes South African all-rounder Kallis. He said: “We are very happy. Last night we discussed it and went through all the options, and everything went according to plan.

“We are very happy to get Jacques Kallis – he was the main pick for us. We have a very exciting opener in Cameron Delport, and a great wicket keeper and batter in Kamran Akmal. The CPL is a great tournament. We have been in the semi finals two years in a row so hopefully we can go one further this year.”

St Lucia Zouks team ambassador Sir Andy Roberts said they were happy with their selection. He said: “The St Lucia pitch is the most fast bowling of the pitches, so we stocked up on good quality fast bowlers. “In 2013 and 2014 we didn’t draft as well – this year we tried to cover every angle as well as possible. We would have liked to have got Afridi but were pipped by St Kitts – who also pipped us to Sohail Tanvir.” Source