KARACHI: Annoyed by the foreign players’ approach on touring Pakistan, Quetta Gladiators’ owner Nadeem Omar has requested the Pakistan Cricket Board not to put players in the Pakistan Super League draft next time who would not want to come to the country for PSL matches.

“Quetta Gladiators is one of the most successful franchises in the PSL. It’s a common wisdom that last year in PSL summit clash in Lahore, Peshawar Zalmi had an edge against Gladiators because latter team’s foreign players didn’t come to Pakistan for the important match. The PCB should not put foreign players in the draft [next time] who are not willing to come to Pakistan. Otherwise, it will be difficult for the franchises to carry on like this,” said a disgruntled Nadeem.

The Gladiators have qualified for eliminator 1, which will be a replica of last year’s final, as they face Peshawar Zalmi on March 20 in Lahore.

Australian player Shane Watson had earlier consented to come to Pakistan in case the Gladiators qualify for knockouts but now he has retracted from his commitment citing family pressure.

Earlier, Gladiators’ coach and former Pakistan captain Moin Khan has also criticised foreign players for their reluctance to come to Pakistan and has asked the board not to consider such players in PSL draft next time.

Nadeem said that if such foreign players were not considered for PSL draft and subsequently not play some matches, it would not in any way affect PSL, which has become a big brand.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2018