Pakistan's Shoaib Mailk, Mohammad Asif and Younis Khan, and New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum are the latest international players to join the Indian Premier League (IPL), according to Lailt Modi, the IPL chairman and vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
"Malik, Younis, Asif and McCullum signed up with the IPL, taking the number of international cricketers to 29," Modi said. The announcement comes two days after Shoaib Akhtar, Shaun Pollock and New Zealand allrounder Jacob Oram had joined the IPL.
"We are close to signing up more players in a week's time for the IPL which will start around April 16, after the completion of South Africa's visit to India (for a three-Test series)," Modi said.
Modi elaborated on the format of the IPL. "Two matches will be held per day, at 5 and 8pm, at different centres. The eight franchisee teams will have the option of playing with four foreign players on the ground but can sign up more if they want."
He also brushed off criticism from New Zealand Cricket Players' Association (NZCPA) chief, Heath Mills, who termed the IPL contracts "the worst contracts I've seen in professional sport".
"The New Zealand players who have signed the contracts have no issue with us," Modi said. "If they [NZCPA] have an issue, they have to sort it out with the players concerned."