San Francisco Unicorns Completes Major League Cricket Roster for Inaugural Season With Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf

  • International stars Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf fill final spots on the Unicorn’s 18-person roster ahead of the first-ever Major League Cricket season.
  • Unicorns roster to be captained by T20 World Cup champion Aaron Finch and features world-renowned superstars including Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Lungi Ngidi, and Liam Plunkett. 
  • The Unicorns will be one of six teams competing in MLC this July, featuring world-class players in a historic competition, playing the fast-paced T20 cricket format.

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. (June 27, 2023) — The San Francisco Unicorns have filled the final two slots on its inaugural Major League Cricket roster with Pakistani stars Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf.

Khan, 24, regarded as Pakistan’s most successful T20 International bowler, has been hugely successful in the fast-paced format that will be used in Major League Cricket. The right-arm leg-spinner began playing in the Pakistan Super League while still in his teens and competed in the T20 World Cup final in 2022.

Rauf, 29, who also represents Pakistan’s national team, bowled the fastest delivery of the 2023 Pakistan Super League. He has played in all three formats for Pakistan, with a majority of those appearances coming in T20Is, where he has taken 83 wickets at an average of 21.71 and played in last year’s World Cup final.

“The debut season of Major League Cricket is fast approaching, and we could not be happier with the quality of our roster and the leadership of our world-class head coach,” said San Francisco Unicorns co-owner Anand Rajaraman. “It’s a privilege to be playing a part in raising the profile of this great sport in the United States with such a talented roster of players.”

“Shadab and Haris round out an inaugural roster that The Unicorns can be truly proud of,” said San Francisco co-owner Venky Harinarayan. “The expertise of our performance partner Cricket Victoria has been truly invaluable as we have constructed this team, and we are proud to be representing the Bay Area in our matches in Texas and North Carolina this season.”

The San Francisco Unicorns’ 18-person roster features nine overseas players in addition to Rauf and Khan:

Aaron Finch (captain) – The Australian is one of the most renowned T20 batters in the world, both domestically and internationally. His crowning moment came when he led his country to the T20 World Cup title as captain in 2021, and he has twice held the record T20I individual score.

Marcus Stoinis – Another well-known Australian appearing on the Unicorns team, Stoinis brings versatility as a batter and medium-pace bowler. He has made more than 100 appearances collectively for Australia’s white-ball teams and has also had success in the Big Bash League and Indian Premier League, among other T20 competitions.

Lungi Ngidi – The South African has won multiple Cricketer of the Year awards in his home country and has represented his national team since 2017. Most recently, the 27-year-old right-arm fast-medium bowler competed for the Delhi Capitals in the IPL and the Paarl Royals in South Africa’s SA20 tournament.

Matthew Wade – The 35-year-old has represented Australia on more than 200 occasions across all three formats. Wade previously captained his country’s T20I team and was a key member of the group that won the 2021 T20 World Cup, where he scored a crucial 41 not out against Pakistan in the semi-finals.

Finn Allen – The top-order batter has become a white-ball specialist for New Zealand, making 28 T20I appearances; his strike rate of 160.41 is proof of his attacking instincts. Allen has experience playing in a major T20 league from his time with the Indian Premier League’s Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Mackenzie Harvey – Another Australian batter on the Unicorns’ roster, the 22-year-old has already managed to make a name for himself in the Big Bash League in Australia. Harvey, whose uncle Ian played for Australia, has made 38 appearances for Melbourne Renegades, averaging 22.03 with a highest score of 71 not out.

Qais Ahmed – The Afghanistan international has established a strong reputation in T20 competitions around the world and was part of Kent’s team, which won the T20 Blast in England in 2021. Bowling right-arm leg-spin, Qais has taken 149 wickets in T20 matches and has a healthy economy rate of 7.25.

The overseas players are joined by nine domestic team members, who were selected at Major League Cricket’s historic Inaugural Draft event at the Space Center Houston in March 2023:

Corey Anderson – Anderson has represented New Zealand 93 times across all three formats but now qualifies as a domestic player. The 32-year-old is known for powerful hitting, with a healthy strike rate of over 138 in the T20 format, and is also a handy left-arm medium-fast bowler.

Liam Plunkett – At the age of 38, joining the Unicorns is the latest step in a successful career that has seen Plunkett play for England in all three formats. The right-arm fast bowler was part of England’s 50-over World Cup-winning team in 2019, taking three wickets in the final.

Tajinder Singh – Tajinder offers something with both bat and ball, possessing a T20 batting average of 23.06 and an impressive bowling average of 16.11 as a right-arm off-break spinner. The 30-year-old has previously played domestic cricket in India and was bought by Mumbai Indians for the 2018 IPL season.

Chaitanya Bishnoi – Fans of the Indian Premier League (IPL) may remember Bishnoi was bought by Chennai Super Kings the same year the franchise won the competition in 2018. Bishnoi has racked up 50 domestic T20 appearances with a highest score of 78 not out.

Carmi Le Roux – The left-arm medium-fast bowler is best known for playing in his native South Africa, where he has played in the CSA T20 challenge for the Lions team. Le Roux has made 17 appearances in T20s, taking 20 wickets at a healthy average of 16.35.

Brody Couch – The 23-year-old cut his teeth in T20 competition playing for Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League. The right-arm medium bowler has made a name for himself in his 15 appearances for the Stars, taking 18 wickets at an average of 21.83.

David White – White boasts an impressive T20 record, averaging 43.66 across 23 matches, with nine half-centuries and a highest score of 87 not out. He can also bowl right-arm medium fast. The 32- year-old has represented South Africa A and South Africa Under-19s.

Smit Patel – Designated as the Unicorns’ wicket-keeper batter, Patel qualified to play for the USA national team last year after previously scoring the winning runs for India in the 2012 Under-19 50-over World Cup final. The 30-year-old has a healthy T20 batting average of 28.81.

Sanjay Krishnamurthi – At the age of 19, Krishnamurthi is the youngest player on the Unicorns’ roster. Born in Oregon, Krishnamurthi has represented the USA national team in three one-day internationals, batting right-handed while bowling left-arm orthodox spin.

The Unicorns will be coached by legendary three-time 50-over Cricket World Cup winner and two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) Player of the Season Shane Watson

The San Francisco Unicorns will be joined by five other teams from major U.S. metropolitan areas – representing Dallas, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Seattle, and New York City – who will each feature world-renowned cricket stars on their respective rosters alongside the best talent based in the United States, playing the fast-paced and exciting T20 format of the game.

Major League Cricket’s historic inaugural season will begin on July 13, 2023, at the league’s newly-constructed venue, Grand Prairie Stadium, in Grand Prairie, TX. The Unicorns play their first three matches on July 14 at Grand Prairie Stadium before traveling to Church Street Park in Morrisville, NC, for the final two games before the playoffs. 

Tickets for the San Francisco Unicorns and all MLC matches are available for purchase now at

In partnership with MLC, the Unicorns are planning to build a world-class stadium in the Bay Area, which will seat up to 15,000 people and be capable of hosting major international cricket events.