Finch first overseas signing at MLC draft, named San Francisco Unicorns captain

Aaron Finch looks on ICC via Getty Images

Aaron Finch became Major League Cricket's first overseas signing during the T20 franchise league's domestic player draft on Sunday night at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Finch was one of six names that were unveiled during the draft. He was followed over the next 90 minutes by fellow Australians Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Marsh, as well as South Africans Anrich Nortje and Quinton de Kock and Sri Lanka's Wanindu Hasaranga.

Finch was also the first captain to be appointed by any team as it was announced that he would take charge of San Francisco Unicorns, who earlier this month announced it had signed a strategic partnership with Cricket Victoria. He will be joined there by Stoinis.

Former Australia internationals Graham Manou and Ben Rohrer, who now work with Cricket Victoria as general manager of cricket performance and Victoria/Melbourne Stars assistant coach respectively, had both been in Houston throughout the past week to scout talent.

The team added further Victorian flavour in the draft using their sixth-round pick on Victoria and Stars fast bowler Brody Couch, who qualifies as a domestic player by virtue of being a dual Australian-American citizen through his mother, who is originally from New York.

Unicorns used their first two picks on Corey Anderson and Liam Plunkett, who both now reside in the USA after having married Americans.

Marsh and de Kock have both been signed by Seattle Orcas, whose ownership group has ties to the Delhi Capitals franchise in the IPL. Marsh is in the Capitals squad for the 2023 IPL as well.

Nortje and Hasaranga have been signed to play for Washington (DC) Freedom, whose franchise has a strategic partnership with Cricket New South Wales.

The six-team league will be played in a single round-robin format from July 13 to 30 with a new venue in the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie, Texas expected to serve as the main venue for the tournament in year one due to a lack of suitable turf-wicket venues at all other franchise cities.