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Thursday Jan 07 2021

PSL-6 draft: Top foreign players may not be available for full tournament

Players draft is scheduled to be held on January 10. Photo: file
  • Participation of top foreign players for entire PSL-6 tournament doubtful because of other international commitments
  • More than 400 international cricketers have expressed interest in the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League
  • PCB has already released a 25-player list for the platinum category

KARACHI: Over 400 international cricketers have expressed interest in the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League and registered themselves for the players’ draft.

But several of them are only available for part of the league due to other international commitments.

The PCB is planning to host the sixth edition of PSL from February 20 to March 22 and the players draft is scheduled to be held on January 10.

Various international tours are clashing with the dates of PSL: Sri Lanka’s series with West Indies, Bangladesh series with New Zealand, England’s series with India and Afghanistan’s series with Zimbabwe.

Read more: PSL-6 draft: PCB announces 25 foreign players for Platinum category

While the PCB has already released a 25-player list for the platinum category, it is understood that the final list of players in different categories is over 400.

Who has registered for the PSL-6 draft?

Over 90 players from the Caribbean Islands and over 80 from England and Wales have registered themselves for the PSL, a reliable source told Geo News.

The source said more than 40 cricketers from Sri Lanka, around 30 from South Africa, 30 from Afghanistan, 20 from Bangladesh, 14 from Australia and eight from New Zealand have also registered themselves for the PSL players’ draft.

With draft just a couple of days away, the main concern for teams’ think tank is players’ availability due to packed international season and limited travel options due to COVID-19.

It is understood that international commitment is one reason why a top player like Pollard was missing from the platinum players’ initial list. He is, however, likely to be available for the last one week of the league – if required, once he’s free from West Indies vs Sri Lanka series.

Read more: PSL 6 will be held without spectators due to COVID-19: PCB official

Sri Lanka’s tour to West Indies, if it happens, is also likely to put question mark on the full availability of Thisara Perera and Isuru Udana.

Other Sri Lankan players, who have registered themselves for Diamond and below categories, are also likely to face the same clash of dates for their full availability.

Who's in and who's out?

Sources confirm that at least nine players, including Seekkuge Prasanna, Niroshan Dickwella, Nuwan Pradeep, Dinesh Chandimal, Oshada Fernando, Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Thirimanne are registered in the Diamond category list.

Of the other platinum players, announced by the PCB, those who may not be available fully for the PSL include England’s Moeen Ali who is likely to be occupied with England’s tour to India starting in February. The same series is also likely to disturb the full availability of Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan.

Availability of Afghanistan’s Platinum trio – Rashid Khan, Mujeebur Rehman and Mohammad Nabi is also linked with the future of Afghanistan’s series against Zimbabwe.

Hazratullah Zazai, Qais Ahmed and Zahir Khan from Afghanistan are  diamond category players from Afghanistan, but only Zazai may be called by the team for the series against Zimbabwe.

South Africa's Rassie van der Dussen’s availability also depends on Australia’s tour to South Africa for three Tests which are scheduled to be played in February. Dussen was named in the platinum category.

Bangladeshi cricketers’ including platinum player Mustafeezur Rehman’s availability is also linked with the team’s tour to New Zealand. The Bangladesh tour to New Zealand starts from March 12 but the NZ government’s quarantine rule means Bangladeshi cricketers will have to arrive in New Zealand not later than the third week of February.

Seeing international team’s commitments and likelihood of players being picked by their national teams, one can assume that Imran Tahir, Rilee Rossouw, Alex Hales, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Gayle, Colin Ingram, Chris Lynn, Carlos Brathwaite, Sandeep Lamichhane and Dale Steyn are players who can be available to the teams for the full season of PSL.

Predictions for Diamond and Gold categories

Sources say the Diamond category list includes players like James Faulkner, Dan Christian, Ben Cutting, Fawad Ahmed, Tim Bresnen, Joe Denly, Liam Plunkett, Chris Green, Andile Phelukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Luke Wright, Dinesh Ramdin, Andre Fletcher and Brendon Taylor.

Gulbadin Naib, Laurie Evans, Saqib Mehmood, Liam Livingstone, Kevin O Brain, Kyle Abbott, Cameron Delport, Samit Patel, Ravi Bopara, Upul Tharanga, Devendra Bishoo, Ashley Nurse and Sikandar Raza Butt are the players named in the Gold category, the source said.