It’s that time of the year again. The off the field matches before the start of actual cricket. PSL draft took place in Lahore, as 6 teams picked the 11 (or 10 in the case of Lahore Qalandars) remaining players for PSL 2018. The availability of players in view of international commitments, and willingness to play in Pakistan did complicate matters a bit. However, a lot of well-known names of World Cricket are part of the league.
While, the entry of a 6th team ensured player transfer and movement, the core in all teams remains the same. The likes of Quetta Gladiators continued with the policy of taking onboard players from their owners’ club. Multan Sultan, however cannot complain as they were able to assemble a quality side. We got to hear stories of how franchises are giving opportunity to different players. Aqib Javed highlighted the story of left arm spinner Raza Hasan, who was facing wilderness, after his doping ban. Lahore Qalanders, facilitated his return and now he is on verge on playing for them in PSL.
As usual showbiz stars graced the evening with Mahira Khan, Haroon Shahid, Zarrar Khan and Momina Mustehsan in attendance. Najam Sethi vowed to make efforts to bring the tournament final to Karachi. However, it remains to be seen that how repair work taking place in the stadium will complete in time, and when security teams will monitor the situation in Karachi. It does sound like a 'Siyasi bayan tbh'.
While in T20 tournaments, players are signed throughout the tournament, and we expect changes, for now, here is how the teams line up.
Multan Sultans: Shoaib Malik, Kieron Pollard, Kumar Sangakkara, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Irfan Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Imran Tahir, Darren Bravo, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Abbas, Nic Pooran, Abdullah Shafiq, Saif Badar. Supplementary players: Hardus Viljoen, Umar Gul, Umar Siddiq, Ross Whiteley.
Peshawar Zalmi: Mohammad Hafeez, Wahab Riaz, Shakib al Hasan, Kamran Akmal, Darren Sammy, Hasan Ali, Haris Sohail, Chris Jordan, Mohammad Asghar, Dwayne Bravo, Tamim Iqbal, Hammad Azam, Saad Nasim, Taimoor Sultan, Sameen Gul, Ibtisam Sheikh. Supplementary players: Andre Fletcher, Evin Lewis, Khalid Usman, Mohammad Arif
Karachi Kings: Shahid Afridi, Usman Khan, Usama Mir, Khurram Manzoor, Ravi Bopara, Imad Wasim, Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Colin Ingram, Mitchell Johnson, Luke Wright, David Wiese, Tabish Khan, Mohammad Irfan Jnr., Hasan Mohsin. Supplementary players: Colin Munro, Eoin Morgan, Saifullah Bangash
Lahore Qalandars: Umar Akmal, Sunil Narine, Brendon McCullum, Fakhar Zaman, Yasir Shah, Cameron Delport, Aamer Yamin, Bilawal Bhatti, Sohail Khan, Chris Lynn, Mustafizur Rahman, Bilal Asif, Raza Hasan, Sohail Akhtar, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Ghulam Mudassar. Supplementary players: Angelo Mathews, Mitchell McClenaghan, Gulraiz Sadaf
Islamabad United: Mohammad Sami, Andre Russell, Rumman Raees, Shadab Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Samuel Badree, Iftikhar Ahmed, Amad Butt, Asif Ali, JP Duminy, Luke Ronchi, Faheem Ashraf, Sam Billings, Zafar Gohar, Sahibzada Farhan, Hussain Talat, Supplementary players: Alex Hales, David Willey, Mohammad Hasan, Mohammad Hasnain