The player draft for the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) took place at the High-Performance Centre in Lahore. After long discussions, some hits and misses all six franchises have completed their line ups. Islamabad United and Karachi Kings look the most balanced side among six. Lahore Qalandars have assembled a very potent bowling attack while Quetta Gladiators have learnt from their mistakes from the previous year and added experience in their ranks. Peshawar Zalmi has gathered a very aggressive contingent.

Islamabad United

Islamabad United have assembled a very strong contingent. After finishing last on the table in the fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), they meant business from the word go by picking up Hasan Ali as a wild card in the platinum category. Last season, United main area of pain was their bowling as they lost many games even after scoring in excess of 180. They were not able to pick up wickets in the power play. Other than that Reece Topley, the tall left-arm fast bowler from England is also a great pick.

They have retained most of their batsmen from last year. Alex Hales makes a comeback in the United dugout after spending two years in Karachi. Captain Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hussain Talat and Zafar Gohar are all seasoned campaigners and will give Islamabad United the much-needed depth with both bat and ball.

Draft picks: Hasan Ali (platinum)*, Ahmed Saifi Abdullah (emerging), Akif Javed (supplementary), Chris Jordon (supplementary), Iftikhar Ahmed (silver), Lewis Gregory (diamond), Mohammad Wasim Jnr (emerging), Phil Salt (gold), Rohail Nazir, Reece Topley (both silver)

Retained: Alex Hales (Platinum, traded from Karachi Kings), Asif Ali (gold), Colin Munro (diamond), Faheem Ashraf (diamond), Hussain Talat (gold, brand ambassador), Musa Khan (silver, successful relegation request), Shadab Khan (platinum), Zafar Gohar (silver, successful relegation request)

Quetta Gladiators

The most consistent side in the history of the tournament had a horrific campaign last year. Their batting and bowling failed big time. With Shane Watson retiring from cricket, Quetta Gladiators have brought in Chris Gayle. Other than that Tom Banton will also be taking the attack to the bowlers in the top order. Ben Cutting, Muhammad Nawaz will take the all-rounding duties. The presence of Usman Shinwari and Dale Steyn will help the young guns like Naseem Shah and Muhammad Hasnain. Cameron Delport, Anwar Ali will take the all-rounder duties.

Draft picks: Abdul Nasir (silver), Arish Ali Khan (emerging), Cameron Delport (silver), Chris Gayle (platinum), Dale Steyn (supplementary), Qais Ahmed (silver), Saim Ayub (emerging) Tom Banton (platinum), Usman Khan (supplementary), Usman Shinwari (gold) and Zahid Mahmood (silver, brand ambassador)

Retained: Anwar Ali (silver, successful relegation request); Azam Khan (gold); Ben Cutting (diamond); Mohammad Hasnain (diamond); Mohammad Nawaz (diamond); Naseem Shah (gold); Sarfaraz Ahmed (platinum) and Zahid Mahmood (silver, brand ambassador)

Lahore Qalandars

The finalist of the last edition of the tournament had a good very draft. They have further strengthned their bowling attack by picking up Rashid Khan, one of the best going around in the circuit. The pace attack consists of Pakistani rising stars Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Dilbar Hussain. Batting also looks pretty experience with the likes of Muhammad Hafeez, Samit Patel and Fakhar Zaman. The likes of David Wiese, Ben Dunk and Fakhar Zaman are aggressive players but other than Hafeez they don’t have reliable batsmen who can soak up pressure. Joe Denly has been picked in supplementary but he might not be available because of his national side commitment.

Draft picks: Ahmed Danyal (supplementary), Maaz Khan (emerging), Mohammad Faizan (silver), Joe Denly (supplementary), Rashid Khan (platinum), Samit Patel (gold), Tom Abell, Salman Ali Agha (both silver), Zaid Alam (emerging), Zeeshan Ashraf (silver)

Retained: Ben Dunk (gold); David Wiese (diamond); Dilbar Hussain (gold); Fakhar Zaman (diamond, brand ambassador); Haris Rauf (diamond); Mohammad Hafeez; Shaheen Shah Afridi (both platinum) and Sohail Akhtar (silver, successful relegation request)

Peshawar Zalmi

Zalmi were the only side to retain only five players instead of eight, They picked David Miller in the platinum category which gives them an explosive option in the middle order. The addition of Mujeeb ur Rehman will give their spin attack another dimension. Although they haven’t picked up a man to man replacement for Hasan Ali, still they have enough firepower to bowl teams out. The unavailability of Kieron Pollard will definitely hurt them as he has been a pivotal figure in their wins in the past season.

Draft picks: Abrar Ahmed (emerging), Amad Butt (gold), David Miller (platinum) Imam-ul-Haq (silver), Liam Livingstone (gold), Mohammad Amir Khan (supplementary), Mohammad Irfan Snr, Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Imran Randhawa (all silver), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (diamond), Ravi Bopara (supplementary), Saqib Mahmood (silver), Sherfane Rutherford (diamond), Umaid Asif (silver)

Retained: Haider Ali (gold); Kamran Akmal (diamond, successful relegation request); Liam Livingstone (gold); Shoaib Malik and Wahab Riaz (both platinum)

Multan Sultans

Surprisingly Multan retained all of their leg spinners in the shape of Shahid Afridi, Usman Qadir and Imran Tahir. The hard-hitting Chris Lynn from Australia has been brought in for the opening slot. Sohail Khan will give them the much-needed variety they were lacking in their bowling attack. Sohaib Maqsood, Muhammad Rizwan will strengthen the middle order.

Draft picks: Adam Lyth (silver), Carlos Brathwaite (supplementary), Chris Lynn, Imran Khan Snr (supplementary), Mohammad Rizwan (silver), Mohammad Umar (emerging), Shahnawaz Dhani (emerging), Sohaib Maqsood, Sohaibullah, Sohail Khan (all silver)

Retained: Shahid Afridi (platinum), Imran Tahir (diamond, mentor); James Vince (gold); Khushdil Shah (diamond); Rilee Rossouw (platinum); Shan Masood (gold, successful relegation request); Sohail Tanvir (Diamond, brand ambassador); Usman Qadir (gold)

Karachi Kings

The last year champions have assembled a very good squad. By picking Afghanistan’s Muhammad Nabi and Dan Christain they have made some serious buying. Babar, the best player in the world will have the support of Sharjeel Khan, Colin Ingram. The all-rounders spot is well looked after by Imad Wasim and Aamer Yamin. Arshad Iqbal, Muhammad Amir and Waqas Maqsood are a very strong bowling unit.

Draft picks: Chadwick Walton (gold), Dan Christian (diamond), Danish Aziz (silver), Joe Clarke (silver), Mohammad Nabi (diamond), Mohammad Ilyas (silver), Noor Ahmed (supplementary), Qasim Akram (emerging), Zeeshan Malik (silver)

Retained: Aamer Yamin (gold); Arshad Iqbal (emerging); Babar Azam (platinum); Colin Ingram (platinum, traded from Islamabad United); Imad Wasim (diamond, successful relation request); Mohammad Amir (platinum); Sharjeel Khan (gold) and Waqas Maqsood (silver, brand ambassador)


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