KARACHI: Pakistan's World T20 winning captain Younis Khan and Pakistan’s ODI captain Azhar Ali were left out as five different franchises picked their initial nine players on day one of PSL players draft in Lahore.
45 players from three categories were picked by five different franchises, 25 of them were from Pakistan.
Flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi was first to be picked, he was picked by Peshawar’s franchise Peshawar Zalmi after trading pick-order with Islamabad United.
The owner of Peshawar Zalmi, Javed Afrid, has also confirmed that Shahid Afridi will be the captain of the side.
Other major picks by Peshawar Zalmi include Wahab Riaz and Darren Sammy. Muhammad Hafeez, who was relegated to diamond category after being left unpicked in platinum category, was also picked by Peshawar’s franchise
“I am happy with the selections that our coaching panel has made on the first day of the draft. We have some incredibly excited talents like Wahab Riaz, Darren Sammy, Mohammad Hafeez, Junaid Khan, Tamim Iqbal, Chris Jordan in our team, led by our very own the legend of Pakistan Cricket, Shahid Afridi,” said Javed Afridi, owner of Peshawar Zalmi franchise.
Former captain, all-rounder Shoaib Malik was picked by Karachi Kings.
Karachi Kings’ player selection remained the topic of discussion on various cricket forums, and fans expressed surprised on inclusion of too many all-rounders instead of specialists in the team.
“What is wrong with Karachi. Seriously can't understand it. Haven't picked a genuine fast bowler or top order batsman yet,” Tweeted Mazhar Arshad, a Cricket writer at the end of round-6 of players draft.
However, the pick of the day, at least for Karachi Kings, was pacer Mohammad Amir. Owners of two other franchises Lahore Qalandars and Quetta Gladiators have confirmed while talking to Geo News that they also wanted Amir to have in their squad but they couldn’t do so.
Shakeb Al Hassan of Bangladesh was also signed by Karachi’s franchise.
Lahore Qalandar managed to secure some exciting picks, including Chris Gayle, Umar Akmal, Yasir Shah, Dwuayne Bravo and Mustafizur Rehman.
“Although we were also eying to sign Imad Wasim and Muhammad Amir, but I am satisfied with what we have got on day one of players draft. 95% of the signing are according to our plans,” said Atif Rana of Lahore Qalandar.
Lahore has yet to name the captain of their side.
“We haven’t decided about the captain, we’ll name the captain once we finalize our squad.” Rana added.
Team from the federal capital, Islamabad United, had a good day at players draft and according to team’s representative Babar Hameed, they’ve got what they were aiming for.
Led by Misbah ul Haq, Islamabad United has also managed to secure signings with Shane Watson, Andre Russel, Mohammad Irfan, Brad Haddin and Samuel Badree.
“I am fully satisfied with the team selection, we have got what we planned.” said Babar Hameed.
“Misbah will be our skipper, he has always been a great skipper and InshaAllah Islamabad United will play the best Cricket in PSL,” Hameed added.
England’s star Cricketer Kevin Pietersen was secured by Quetta Gladiators, a team owned by Omar Associated. After picking KP, the Quetta Gladiators also secured signing of Sarfaraz Ahmed who’ll lead the side, which also includes Ahmed Shahzad, Luke Wright, Jason Holder, Anwar Ali, Umar Gul and Elton Chigumbura.
“I picked Sarfaraz and Anwar because I was already aware of their talent, they also play for the club Omar Associates,” said Nadeem Omar, the owner of Quetta’s franchise.
“There’re couple of players I wanted to sign as well, Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Amir, but we couldn’t do so,” Omar added.
Teams will pick another 35 mandatory players and 20 optional players from Silver, Emerging and Supplementary category on Tuesday, day two of players draft.
The inaugural edition of Pakistan Super League will be played from 4th February in United Arab Emirates.
Day 1 picks
Islamabad United: Shane Watson, Andre Russell, Misbah ul Haq (Platinum) Brad Haddin, Mohammad Irfan, Samuel Badree (Diamond) Mohammad Sami, Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif (Gold)
Karachi Kings: Shoaib Malik, Shakib al Hasan, Sohail Tanvir (Platinum) Ravi Bopara, Lendl Simmons, Imad Wasim (Diamond) Mohammad Amir, Bilawal Bhatti, James Vince (Gold)
Lahore Qalandars: Chris Gayle, Umar Akmal, Dwayne Bravo (Platinum) Sohaib Maqsood, Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah (Diamond) Kevon Cooper, Cameron Delport, Mustafizur Rehman (Gold)
Peshawar Zalmi: Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Darren Sammy (Platinum) Mohammad Hafeez, Chris Jordan, Kamran Akmal (Diamond) James Allenby, Junaid Khan, Tamim Iqbal (Gold)
Quetta Gladiators: Kevin Pietersen, Sarfraz Ahmed, Ahmad Shehzad (Platinum) Luke Wright, Jason Holder, Anwar Ali (Diamond) Umar Gul, Zulfiqar Babar, Elton Chigumbura (Gold)