Washington Freedom’s start to life in Major League Cricket got off to the perfect start, with the announcement of two high profile overseas signings to go along with a successful draft day.

Held at the NASA Johnson Space Center, Freedom announced that Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga and South African speedster Anrich Nortje will be wearing the red, white and blue of Washington Freedom this season, before our scouting team, led by our director of cricket Michael Klinger, chose South-African born wicket-keeper batter Andries Gous and former Pakistan international Mukthar Ahmed as our first two picks.

“We got our first pick who we wanted,” Klinger said shortly after the draft concluded. “I wasn’t sure our second pick would be available in Mukthar Ahmed. There was also another player we were considering, we thought they might both be gone but to have a choice of two players was great.

“Anrich Nortje is arguably the best fast bowler in the world in all formats and particular T20. To be able to have him as part of our team is fantastic. And then Wanindu Hasaranga is one of the two best leg spinning all-rounders in the world. To have him with us is huge.”

With our third and fourth picks, Freedom selected all-rounder Obus Pienaar and USA fast-bowler Saurabh Netravalkar who is a mainstay of the stars and stripes national team.

With our remaining five picks, we selected former Pakistan and South Africa internationals Saad Ali and Dane Piedt, as well as Sujith Gowda, Justin Dill and finally, Akhilesh Bodugum, who was our pick as an U23 rookie.