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PSL franchises pick their ‘iconic player’

Peshawar sign Afridi, Karachi bag Malik, Islamabad pick Watson, Quetta get Kevin Pietersen, Lahore rope in Gayle

The five franchises of Pakistan Super League chose their iconic player as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) kicked off drafting for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Lahore’s National Cricket Academy on Monday.

Pakistan’s T20 captain Shahid Afridi was signed by Peshawar Zalmi, all-rounder Shoaib Malik by Karachi Kings, Australia’s Shane Watson by Islamabad United, Kevin Pietersen by Quetta Gladiators and West Indian player Chris Gayle by Lahore Qalandars.

Pakistan’s highest run-getter in Tests, Younis Khan, and offspinner Saeed Ajmal, however, went unpicked. A total of 45 players were drafted among the five franchises. The teams had to pick three players each from the Platinum, Diamond and Gold categories, with a minimum of four Pakistanis and four foreigners.

Fast bowler Mohammad Amir continued his reintegration into competitive cricket after being selected by Karachi Kings for the upcoming Pakistan Super League. Amir, who was one of 310 players open for the PSL draft, was picked by Karachi in the Gold category.

Bangladesh seamer Mustafizur Rahman, who was recently included in the ICC’s ODI team of the year, was taken by Lahore in the Gold category, while his fellow countryman Tamim Iqbal was chosen in the same bracket by Peshawar. Allrounder Shakib Al Hasan, the other Bangladesh player to be drafted on the day, was picked in Platinum by Karachi.

Lahore were the only team to use up their full quota of foreign players, with Gayle, Mustafizur, Dwayne Bravo, Kevon Cooper and Cameron Delport all drafted during the day. Besides Cooper and Delport, 33-year-old Somerset batsman Jim Allenby was the only other uncapped player to be selected, by Peshawar in the Gold category.

The draft will continue on Tuesday, when each team will choose five players from the Silver category, and two from the Emerging category. Franchises will also have the option to bolster their squad strength to 20 by picking four supplemental players.

In the Platinum category players’ selection, Pakistan Test captain Misbahul Haq was picked by Islamabad. Umar Akmal was picked by Lahore from the Platinum category.

Pakistan opener Ahmad Shehzad and wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed were picked by Quetta from the Platinum category.

In the Diamond category players’ selection, all-rounder Imad Wasim was picked by Karachi. Meanwhile, Muhammad Hafeez, who was demoted to the Diamond category after being ignored during the Platinum category players’ selection, was picked by Peshawar.

Meanwhile, Shahid Afridi said he would have loved to play for any team but it made more sense for him to play for Peshawar Zalmi because it complements the work his foundation is doing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s remote areas.

Giving credit to the PCB for organising the mega cricket league, Afridi said the platform should be used to promote new faces and to encourage new talent.

Karachi Kings didn’t hesitate in signing up the former captain Shoaib Malik to play for them, while Quetta Gladiators got England star Kevin Pietersen.

But Lahore Qalandars perhaps made the most interesting pick for its franchise by signing West Indian hardhitter Chris Gayle. Shane Watson of Australia was picked up by Islamabad United.

The PSL has already finalised the sale of commercial rights for franchises, broadcast, and title sponsorship.

“By opting for a draft system in place of a player auction, PSL will ensure a level-playing field as each team will have to choose a certain number of players from each category. As a result of this, each team will spend an equal amount on drafting players. Top players will, therefore, play for all five teams,” the PCB said in a statement.

The PSL player list includes 137 Pakistani and 171 foreign players. The short-listed players have been divided into five categories:

Each team will be required to pick three players per category from each of the top three categories (Platinum, Diamond and Gold).

While drafting of two emerging players will be mandatory, a team will also be able to pick up to five players from the ‘Silver’ category in order to complete the squad.

Each team will have a minimum of four foreign players in the playing 11. The inaugural edition of the PSL is scheduled to take place from Feb 4-23, 2016 in Dubai and Sharjah.


Islamabad United:

Shane Watson (Australia)

Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan)

Andre Russell (West Indies)

Samuel Badree (West Indies)

Mohammad Irfan (Pakistan)

Brad Haddin (Australia)

Sharjeel Khan (Pakistan)

Mohammad Sami (Pakistan)

Khalid Latif (Pakistan)



Karachi Kings:

Shoaib Malik (Pakistan)

Shakib al-Hassan (Bangladesh)

Sohail Tanvir (Pakistan)

Immad Wasim (Pakistan)

Ravi Bopara (England)

Lendl Simmons (West Indies)

Mohammad Amir (Pakistan)

Bilawal Bhatti (Pakistan)

James Vince (England)


Lahore Qalandars:

Chris Gayle (West Indies)

Umar Akmal (Pakistan)

Dwayne Bravo (West Indies)

Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan)

Yasir Shah (Pakistan)

Sohaib Maqsood (Pakistan)

Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)

Kevon Cooper (West Indies)

Cameron Delport (South Africa)


Peshawar Zalmi:

Shahid Afridi (Pakistan)

Wahab Riaz (Pakistan)

Darren Sammy (West Indies)

Kamran Akmal (Pakistan)

Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan)

Chris Jordan (England)

Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh)

Junaid Khan (Pakistan)

James Allenby (Australia)


Quetta Gladiators:

Kevin Pietersen (England)

Ahmed Shehzad (Pakistan)

Sarfraz Ahmed (Pakistan)

Anwar Ali (Pakistan)

Jason Holder (West Indies)

Luke Wright (England)

Zulfiqar Babar (Pakistan)

Umar Gul (Pakistan)

Elton Chigumbura (Zimbabwe)

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