KARACHI: Young spin sensation Shadab Khan is among seven Pakistanis who will compete in this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) while temperamental batsmen Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad have lost their spots in the lucrative T20 competition.

The 18-year-old Shadab, currently attending the training camp in Lahore for the upcoming tour of the West Indies and is tipped to make Pakistan’s squad, was taken by the Trinbago Knight Riders franchise during the player draft held in Bridgetown last Friday.

More than 40 Pakistan players — the highest contingent among foreigners — had registered themselves as compared to 38 in 2016 when only five cricketers managed to get picked.

Former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik has been retained by Barbados Tridents wit reigning champions Jamaica Tallawahs keeping faith in the talent of spinning all-rounder Imad Wasim. Guyana Amazon Warriors, the last year’s runners-up, have also kept paceman Sohail Tanvir in their squad.

Barbados Tridents, the 2014 champions, have let go Ahmed Shehzad and instead gone for left-arm speedster Wahab Riaz this time.

While the prolific Kamran Akmal returns to the CPL after missing the previous edition, the 35-year-old, who was both man-of-the-tournament and man-of-the-final in Peshawar Zalmi’s successful Pakistan Super League (PSL) campaign recently, will join his Peshawar captain Darren Sammy in the recently-renamed St Lucia Stars line-up.

Kamran scored 60 off 46 balls in a man-of-the-match performance while helping Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel — the former name of Trinbago Knight Riders — to beat Barbados Tridents during the final of the 2015 edition in Port of Spain. But Kamran’s younger sibling Umar has paid heavily for a below-par CPL outing in 2016 when he mustered only 179 runs in 12 matches for the Trinbago Knight Riders.

Mohammad Sami, the long-forgotten Pakistan fast bowler, has been rewarded for bowling consistently well for the dethroned PSL champions Islamabad United. The 36-year-old has been signed up by Jamaica Tallawahs, who also won the title in 2013.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2017

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