KARACHI: Pakistan Super League (PSL) first-edition winners Islamabad United replaced banned West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell with English pacer Steven Finn.
The move came after Russell was banned from all cricket for a year over a doping code violation.
The 28-year-old did not file his whereabouts on three occasions in 2015 as required, which constitutes a failed drugs test under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) guidelines. His punishment was handed down by the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission on Tuesday.
“We are devastated for Andre,” said West Indies all-rounder's Australian club Sydney Thunder's general manager Nick Cummins, in confirming the outcome.
“We haven’t seen the written judgement, but given the circumstances surrounding the filing failures we thought he had a good chance of being exonerated. We will monitor the appeals process and assess our options,” he added.
Meanwhile, Islamabad United's Cricket Director Wasim Akram justified the choice of a pacer as a replacement for an all-rounder.
"Obviously there will be some who will question why we've replaced an all-rounder with a genuine fast-bowler, but, having done the numbers, and after looking at the make up of our squad, he's a great alternative to have for Russell," said Wasim.
"His record in Asia particularly stood out to us, and if he replicates that form during the PSL, I'm sure he'll play a major role in our successes this year. I look forward to working with him."
The second edition of PSL will start from February 9 and will end with a marquee final in Lahore on March 5.
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