Many Key Stars Unpicked | The RoundUp of HBL PSL8 Draft:
The eighth edition of nation’s favorite Pakistan Super League will begin on 9th of February of the coming year. The culmination of Drafts day, which took place in Karachi today, has marked the rounding out of nearly all the main preparations before the celebrated league begins. Some exciting picks were made by the franchises during the drafts. Big names as well as young prospects have been included in the squads. The think tanks, with numbers and stats of players and their current form in the back of their mind, roped in players who not only suit the approach and strategy of the franchise but also tried to keep their focus on the players who can benefit the national team in the long run.
The drafts were initially divided into 18 rounds but were reduced to 10 keeping in view the before-draft trades and retention of players. Two Platinum rounds began the drafts followed by one of Diamond and Gold each, Three rounds of Silver next to which was a solitary Emerging category round and finally two rounds of Supplementary picks ended the day. Lets see how the teams of all franchises look as of now:
The Qalandars were to make the first pick in the first Platinum round and to no one’s astonishment they picked their core player, Fakhar Zaman, who was not retained earlier. Using Wild card, the title defenders selected Hussain Talat while another amazing all-rounder, Sikandar Raza, was added to the team as well. As told by the franchise, Raza was brought in to fill their void for an off-spinner in the team. Keeping in mind the kind of form he is currently in, off-spin is not the only thing he will bring to the table. Jordan Cox, in the supplementary round, was picked by the think tank of Qalandars. The title-defenders’ team looks like:
Shaheen Shah Afridi, Rashid Khan, Haris Rauf, Zaman Khan, David Wiese, Harry Brook, Abdullah Shafique, Kamran Ghulam, Fakhar Zaman, Hussain Talat, Sikandar Raza, Liam Dawson, Dilbar Hussain, Mirza Tahir Baig, Ahmed Daniyal, Shawaiz Irfan, Jordan Cox, Jalat Khan.
To strengthen their bowling lineup, the Gladiators chose the best in the business, Wanindu Hasaranga. The Sri Lankan bowler will play in the PSL for the first time. Availing their Right-to-match, Quetta saved Naseem Shah when Multan Sultans tried to rope him in.
Interestingly, Martin Guptill was picked by the purple team in the Supplementary round while Jamaican player Odean Smith made it to the team’s picks as well. After his brilliant performance in the Pakistan Junior League, Aimal Khan has been awarded a place in the team by the Gladiators.uetta Gladiators have the following team now:
Mohammad Nawaz, Jason Roy, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Hasnain, Umar Akmal, Naveen ul Haq, Will Smeed, Naseem Shah, Wanindu Hasaranga, Odean Smith, Ahsan Ali, Umaid Asif, Mohammad Zahid, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Aimal Khan, Martin Guptill, Omair Bin Yousaf.
Multan Sultan was denied of taking Naseem Shah to their side by Quetta’s right to match but they came up with another magnificent name, David Miller. Using Wild card, the Irish cricketer Josh Little was roped in by the franchise. As their Supplementary pick, the team went with Adil Rashid, a brilliant pick which can help the team’s bowling side to a huge extent. Another spinner, Akeal Hosein was added to the team as well. The Sultans’ family now looks like:
Mohammad Rizwan, Rilee Roussouw, Shan Masood, Khushdil Shah, Tim David, Shahnawaz Dahani, Ihsanullah, Abbas Afridu, David Miller, Josh Little, Akeal Hosein, Usama Mir, Usman Khan, Sameen Gul, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Sarwar Afridi, Adil Rashid, Arafat Minhas.
Karachi Kings began the drafts by getting Australian batter, Mathew Wade, in their team, citing that they needed a wicket-keeper batter who can play in the top-order too. To couple with Wade, opener James Vince was named as a pick by the Kings. South Africa’s Imran Tahir and Australian fast bowler Andrew Tye are two of the names who will join the Kings. Earlier, the Kings named Imad Wasim as their captain following Babar Azam’s departure from the team, who was traded with Peshawar Zalmi for Haider Ali and Shoaib Malik.
The franchise has also selected Tabraiz Shamsi, although he will be only available for the first part of the tournament.
Imad Wasim, Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir, Aamir Yamin, Sharjeel Khan, Mir Hamza, Qasim Akram, Mathew Wade, Imran Tahir, James Vince, James Fuller, Andrew Tye, Tayyab Tahir, Mohammad Akhlaq, Irfan Khan Niazi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Mohammad Umar.
The only team with two PSL Trophies in their cabinet started their picks with English opener Alex Hales, who is currently enjoying his purple patch. Rahmanullah Gurbaz as a wicket-keeper replacement was also included in the team while the franchise interestingly roped Fazalhaq Farooqi in as well. As told by the think tank of Islamabad, Farooqi was chosen because the team needed a left-armer and someone with a lot of variations who can bowl in the powerplay economically. Mystery spinner, Abrar Ahmed, who took the world by storm in the recently concluded Test match against England will be wearing Islamabad’s kit this season.
The two times champions of PSL will go with the following players in the league this year:
Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jr., Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Azam Khan, Colin Munro, Paul Stirling, Alex Hales, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abrar Ahmed, Sohaib Maqsood, Rumman Raees, Zeeshan Zamir, Hassan Nawaz, Moeen Ali, Mubasir Khan.
Peshawar Zalmi will be led this season by none other than the brilliant Babar Azam. As told by the team’s head coach, Zalmi has built a team around Babar this season. Peshawar Zalmi picked Bhanuka Rajapaksa from Sri Lanka as their first pick. The franchise named players like Mujeeb ur Rehman and Rovman Powell in the team. In the second Supplementary round, the 2017 PSL winners skipper their turn, the reason for which – as told by the representatives of the franchise – was that they have their eyes on a few youngsters and want to observe them for some more time before making a decision. Thus, they will name the selected player in due time.
Babar Azam, Wahab Riaz, Sherfane Rutherford, Mohammad Haris, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Aamer Jamal, Salman Irshad, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Rovman Powell, Mujeeb ur Rehman, Danish Aziz, Arshad Iqbal, Saim Ayub, Usman Qadir, Sufyan Muqeem, Haseebullah Khan, Jimmy Neesham.
While all the franchises named impactful players for their squad throughout the drafts, fans and critics could not help noticing the absence of some players who have hitherto performed decently in the league. Cricketers like Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal and Ahmed Shahzad were ignored by the franchises. Mohammad Hafeez, who recently bade farewell to his franchise Lahore Qalandars, was available to be picked in the Diamond category. Likewise, Kamran Akmal departed from Peshawar Zalmi ahead of announcement of retention lists earlier in November. For information, the Pakistani wicket-keeper batter, Kamran Akmal, is the tournament’s second highest run scorer as of now.
Talking about the picks, each team, barring Peshawar, has picked all 18 of their players. Teams include a wide range of players from World class cricketers to budding youngsters. It will be only in the Super League that we will know how these skillful players are utilized by the management. It must be kept in mind that all franchises have won the PSL Trophy at least once and this season tight competitions and nail-biting ends can surely be expected.