Peshawar pick Afridi, Karachi sign Amir in PSL Draft

Inaugural PSL is scheduled to take place from Feb 4 to 23 in Dubai and Sharjah

Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi on Monday became the first pick of the much-awaited Pakistan Super League (PSL) Player Draft after Peshawar Zalmi signed up the flamboyant all-rounder to play for its franchise, it has been reported.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) kicked off the player draft with 308 cricketers on board for ‘Platinum’, ‘Diamond’ and ‘Gold’ categories in National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore with all five franchises picking nine players each on day one.

The second phase of drafting is scheduled to take place in NCA Tuesday. Players belonging to the ‘Silver’ and ‘Emerging’ categories will be inducted into the league’s five franchises.

Each team will have a minimum of four foreign players in the playing XI.

The inaugural edition of the PSL is scheduled to take place from Feb 4 to 23 in Dubai and Sharjah.

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, reported.

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 signed up controversial fast bowler Mohammad Amir and and former skipper Shoaib Malik to play for them, while Quetta Gladiators got England star Kevin Pietersen.

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

However, Pakistan’s highest run-getter in Tests, Younis Khan, remained unpicked by any of the franchises throughout Monday’s draft.

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: Platinum, Diamond, Gold, Silver and Emerging.

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.

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)

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