On Monday a replacement draft was held for the HBL PSL II 2017 edition at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. This draft was organised by the PSL committee of the PCB for the players who cannot play in the PSL due to international duties, injuries, bans and unavailability.
Team managements from 4 of the 5 franchises were present to make their picks for the upcoming season. Karachi Kings was present at the draft because they had their full quota of foreign players ready and fit to show their skills at Dubai and Sharjah. The Karachi team has given the green light to all the changes made to the other 4 franchises.
Islamabad United have decided to retain their West Indian all-rounder, Andre Russel, who at the moment is awaiting a verdict on his doping case hearing. The result is expected to arrive in the next 2 weeks and if Russel cannot play then Islamabad will have the chance to replace him immediately.
Lahore Qalandars have made 3 vital changes to their squad. They have chosen to bring in England’s opener Jason Roy (finally) in place of the West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo. They also chose to bring in Chris Green, who has performed extremely well in the Big Bash League for the Sydney Thunder for Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait. The New Zealand fast bowler has been James Franklin has been chosen to play instead of his fellow countryman Anton Devcich.
Peshawar Zalmi have also made 3 changes to their squad and they are withholding one pick which has to be taken in the next 24 hours. They brought in the West Indian all-rounder, Marlon Samuel, for the English opener, Alex Hales. In their second pick, Peshawar replaced the opener from Afghanistan, Mohammed Shahzad for another West Indian, Andre Fletcher. In their final pick, the Zalmi chose to replace Shakib-ul-Hasan for the Sri Lankan opener, Tilikaratne Dilshan. These changes will only be applicable once the the Bangladeshi players leave for international duty so that the quota of foreign players that the Zalmi has is allowed in the PSL handbook.
The dark horse – Quetta Gladiators – of the HBL PSL I have made 4 changes to their squad, the most by any team. In their first pick, England’s Moeen Ali replaced Carlos Brathwaite. The New Zealand all-rounder, Nathan McCullum, was retained from the first PSL season for England’s David Willey. Rowan Powell (West Indian) was replaced by the Sri Lankan, Thisara Perera. In their final pick, the hero for the Gladiators in their match against the Qalandars, Mohammed Nabi, was replaced by South African player, Rilee Rossouw.
The story from this draft was that exciting players were being replaced by even more exciting players and once again the teams will fight to catch that shooting star while lighting up Sharjah and Dubai from the 9th of February.
The Cornered Tiger