LAHORE: World’s prominent cricketers including Chris Gayle, Chris Lynn, Rashid Khan and Dale Steyn have made themselves available for the 2021 HBL Pakistan Super League.

The quartet is part of a 25-player Platinum roster of foreign players for the PSL player draft that will be held in Lahore on Jan 10.

The six franchises will now be making key trade and retention decisions before the draft, with each team allowed a maximum of eight retentions ahead of the draft, a PCB press release said on Tuesday.

“With a packed international calendar during the February-March window this year, some of the foreign players will only be partially available for the competition,” the press release added.

Rashid Khan, the ICC T20I Player of the Decade, will be one of the major attractions of the draft. The Afghanistan leg-spinner has bagged a total of 338 wickets in 244 T20 games besides his staggering T20I numbers of 89 wickets in 48 matches.

South African batsman David Miller, a veteran of 320 T20 matches, will be one of the most sought after players for the franchises. Miller is yet to feature in the PSL.

West Indian T20 legend Gayle, who represented Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars in earlier PSL editions, is another major attraction on the list along with ICC’s top-ranked T20 batsman Dawid Malan who was part of the Islamabad United squad in PSL 2020.

Australian Chris Lynn who scored 284 runs at 40.57 (strike-rate 179.74) for Qalandars last season is also part of the Platinum list and could be a possible retention option for the Qalandars ahead of the draft.

The West Indian representation on the Platinum list also includes Dwayne Bravo who has represented Lahore Qalandars, Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators in the PSL along with Carlos Brathwaite (stints with Qalandars and Zalmi), Lendl Simmons (Kings and Zalmi) and Evin Lewis.

The list also features South Africa’s Morne Morkel and Rassie van der Dussen who are both yet to feature in the PSL. The South African representation in the list also includes Imran Tahir (Multan Sultans), Colin Ingram (Kings and United), Rilee Rossouw (Gladiators and Sultans) and Dale Steyn (United).

Besides Malan, England’s Alex Hales who was part of the Kings’ winning squad in last year’s edition is also in the list. Moeen Ali (Sultans), Chris Jordan (Zalmi and Kings) and Tom Banton (Zalmi) are also part of the Platinum roster.

Spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rehman and all-rounder Mohammad Nabi (Gladiators) are the two other Afghanistan players on the list along with Rashid.

Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera (Gladiators and Sultan) and Isuru Udana also feature on the list.

Bangladesh fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman and Nepal’s Sandeep Lamic­hanne, who have both played for Qalandars in the past, complete the list.

Director Commercial Babar Hamid: “We are delighted to release a star-studded list of players in the Platinum category even though we are dealing with an unprecedented situation due to Covid-19 and player availability [issues] are also hampered by a packed FTP calendar.”

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2021

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