Pakistan Super League (PSL) Project Director Salman Sarwar Butt thanked the international players who have agreed to come on board to play in the inaugural edition of the T20 league after the final list of the players was released on Thursday.
A total of 308 top foreign and local cricketers will be available at the PSL Draft, scheduled to be held on December 21 and 22 in Lahore. The PSL player list includes 137 Pakistani and 171 foreign players with the players being divided into five different categories — Platinum, Diamond, Gold, Silver, and Emerging.
“We’re really excited that the PSL has been able to attract the best players available for its inaugural edition. A lot of effort has been put in place to get the approval of these players,” Butt told The Express Tribune. “As far as the local players are concerned, the list was prepared by the national selection committee thereby reducing the chances of missing any names out.
“It’s getting exciting for everyone as we get closer to the launch dates and it’s heartening to see that our efforts are bearing fruits.”
Top names such as Shane Watson, Wahab Riaz, Kevin Pietersen, Shahid Afridi, Chris Gayle, James Anderson, Shoaib Malik, Darren Sammy, Grant Elliott, Lasith Malinga, Andre Russell, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Marlon Samuels, Angelo Mathews and Shakib alHasan have made themselves available for the Draft, where the five franchise owners will gather to select their playing squads.
By opting for a draft system instead of a player auction, the PSL management has ensured that financial prowess does not dictate the quality of the squad in one particular side and that top players are fielded in all five teams.
Each team will be required to pick three players from each of the top three categories — Platinum, Diamond, Gold, while it will be mandatory to select two players from the Emerging category. The remaining five players would be selected from the Silver category.
The final names of the coaches for each team would be announced in the next few days.
Meanwhile, Pakistan ODI and T20 vice-captain Sarfraz Ahmed, who is in the platinum category, stated that he is excited ahead of the league.
“Like everyone I’m really excited about the inaugural league and I want to thank the board and the PSL governing council for putting me in the highest category,” said Sarfraz. “These things certainly boost your morale and I’ll try to live up to the expectations.”
Meanwhile, ODI captain Azhar Ali expressed delight at the notion that Pakistani players would be playing with some of the biggest names in their own league.
“I think our PSL has now got some big cricketers and that will certainly boost the morale of all the local players,” said Azhar. “I’m looking forward to its launch.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2015.