LAHORE: The explosive West Indies opener Chris Gayle was on Sunday signed up by former champions Quetta Gladiators, while the popular Australian Chris Lynn has switched from Lahore Qalandars to Multan Sultan as the six HBL Pakistan Super League franchises confirmed their line-ups for the sixth edition of PCB’s marquee event.
Hasan Ali — the Pakistan paceman who was a guiding force behind Central Punjab’s resurgence during the backend of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy while leading them to the maiden first-class final to end in a tie — will turn out for two-time winners Islamabad United in the Feb 20-March 22 competition after being integral part of the Peshawar Zalmi side over the first five seasons.
Among other high-profile inductions during the player draft held at the High Performance Centre, world’s top-ranked T20 bowler Rashid Khan of Afghanistan was grabbed by Lahore Qalandars and South African batsman David Miller is set make his PSL debut when the left-hander was snapped up by Peshawar Zalmi.
Defending champions Karachi Kings have parted company with Mohammad Rizwan after the Pakistan wicket-keeper’s limited appearances during the past editions. Rizwan, who stood in as Test captain for the injured Babar Azam during Pakistan’s 2-0 defeat in New Zealand, hopes to play a leading role for Multan Sultans when the tournament begins in Karachi and then moving on to Lahore.
Ex-Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal, who is now Islamabad’s assistant coach expects his side to improve upon from their bottom-placed finish in the fifth edition. “The [player] draft has gone exactly the way we had hoped for. We picked Hasan, who is in excellent form and will strengthen our bowling. We then opted for two wicketkeeper/batsmen in Phil Salt and Rohail Nazir.”
Former Pakistan captain and king of swing Wasim Akram, who is Karachi’s director cricket, warned his team will be tough to beat in its title defence. “We picked almost all the players we wanted to. The thought was to have a balanced side and try to cover all bases with players who are good finishers,” he observed.
Aaqib Javed, the ex-Pakistan paceman who is Lahore’s head coach since the start of PSL was delighted with the signing of Rashid Khan and retention of Samit Patel: “Obviously, I’m extremely happy to have a match-winner in Rashid, but Samit Patel’s pick is something that gives me most satisfaction.”
Moin Khan, Quetta’s head coach and another ex-Pakistan skipper welcomed Gayle and Tom Banton in the Gladiators’ family.
“We warmly welcome both Tom and Chris to the Gladiators side. We were particularly keen to have Gayle following the retirement of Shane Watson as we wanted someone who is highly experienced and a match-winner in our ranks,” Moin commented.
Peshawar Zalmi’s cricket director and ex-Pakistan paceman Mohammad Akram expressed great satisfaction with the arrival of David Miller. “Our aim was to strengthen our middle-order and I am pleased that we were able to lock David Miller and Sherfane Rutherford,” Akram noted.
Final squads (in alphabetical order):
ISLAMABAD UNITED – Ahmed Safi Abdullah (emerging); Alex Hales (Platinum; traded from Karachi Kings); Akif Javed (supplementary); Asif Ali (gold); Chris Jordon (supplementary); Colin Munro (diamond); Faheem Ashraf (diamond); Iftikhar Ahmed (silver); Hasan Ali (platinum), Hussain Talat (gold, brand ambassador); Lewis Gregory (diamond); Mohammad Wasim Jr (emerging); Musa Khan (silver, successful relegation request); Phil Salt (gold); Rohail Nazir, Reece Topley (both silver); Shadab Khan (platinum); Zafar Gohar (silver, successful relegation request).
KARACHI KINGS — Aamir Yamin (gold); Arshad Iqbal (emerging); Babar Azam (platinum); Colin Ingram (platinum, traded from Islamabad United); Chadwick Walton (gold); Dan Christian (diamond); Danish Aziz (silver); Imad Wasim (diamond, successful relation request); Joe Clarke (silver); Mohammad Amir (platinum); Mohammad Nabi (diamond); Mohammad Ilyas (silver); Noor Ahmed (supplementary); Sharjeel Khan (gold), Qasim Akram (emerging); Waqas Maqsood (silver, brand ambassador); Zeeshan Malik (silver).
LAHORE QALANDARS – Ahmed Daniyal (supplementary); Ben Dunk (gold); David Wiese (diamond); Dilbar Hussain (gold); Fakhar Zaman (diamond, brand ambassador); Haris Rauf (diamond); Maaz Khan (emerging); Mohammad Faizan (silver); Mohammad Hafeez (platinum); Joe Denly (supplementary); Rashid Khan (platinum); Samit Patel (gold); Shaheen Shah Afridi (platinum); Sohail Akhtar (silver, successful relegation request); Tom Abell, Agha Salman (both silver); Zaid Alam (emerging); Zeeshan Ashraf (silver).
MULTAN SULTANS — Adam Lyth (silver); Carlos Brathwaite (supplementary); Chris Lynn; Shahid Afridi (both platinum); Imran Tahir (diamond, mentor); Imran Khan (supplementary); James Vince (gold); Khushdil Shah (diamond); Mohammad Rizwan (silver); Mohammad Umar (emerging); Rilee Rossouw (platinum); Shahnawaz Dhani (emerging), Shan Masood (gold, successful relegation request); Sohaib Maqsood, Sohaibullah; Sohail Khan (all silver); Sohail Tanvir (Diamond, brand ambassador); Usman Qadir (gold).
PESHAWAR ZALMI — Abrar Ahmed (emerging); Amad Butt (gold); David Miller (platinum); Haider Ali (gold); Imam-ul-Haq (silver); Kamran Akmal (diamond, successful relegation request); Liam Livingstone (gold); Mohammad Amir Khan (supplementary); Mohammad Irfan Sr; Mohammad Imran; Mohammad Imran Randhawa (all silver); Mujeeb Ur Rehman (diamond); Ravi Bopara (supplementary); Saqib Mahmood (silver); Sherfane Rutherford (diamond); Shoaib Malik (platinum); Umaid Asif (silver); Wahab Riaz (platinum).
QUETTA GLADIATORS — Abdul Nasir (silver); Anwar Ali (silver, successful relegation request); Arish Ali Khan (emerging); Azam Khan (gold); Ben Cutting (diamond); Cameron Delport (silver); Chris Gayle (platinum); Dale Steyn (supplementary); Mohammad Hasnain (diamond); Mohammad Nawaz (diamond); Naseem Shah (gold); Qais Ahmed (silver); Saim Ayub (emerging) Sarfaraz Ahmed; Tom Banton (both platinum); Usman Khan (supplementary); Usman Khan Shinwari (gold) and Zahid Mahmood (silver, brand ambassador).
Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2021