Sri Lanka’s 2022 T20 Asia Cup winning duo of leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and left-handed batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa, along with Englands T20 World Cup winning member in leg-spinner Adil Rashid are some of the big names to have earned contracts for 2023 season of Pakistan Super League (PSL) through a player draft, here.
Other prominent overseas players to feature in PSL 2023 will be Australia’s wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade, New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham and South Africa’s left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi will also make their PSL debuts in the eighth edition of the tournament, to be held across four cities from February 13 to March 19.
Hasaranga was picked up by 2019 champions Quetta Gladiators, 2017 winners Peshawar Zalmi scooped Rajapaksa, while Wade was chosen by 2020 champions Karachi Kings. The trio were picked in the Platinum Category.
In a 129-match T20 career, Hasaranga has claimed 129 wickets at an economy-rate of 6.72, while in 52 T20Is, the spinner has claimed 86 wickets. Hard-hitting batter Rajapaksa holds an identical strike-rate of 135 in 35 T20Is and 143 T20s, whereas Wade holds a strike-rate of 132 and 135 in T20I and T20 cricket, respectively.
Neesham, who was part of New Zealand’s squad for the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cups, was picked by Peshawar Zalmi following his 2,887 runs in 210 T20I matches at a strike-rate of 142 and 688 runs in 60 T20Is at a strike-rate of 159.6.
Multan Sultans lost South Africa’s veteran leg-spinner Imran Tahir to Karachi Kings but roped in Rashid, who has taken 93 wickets in 92 T20Is with an economy-rate of 7.42, while he has taken 255 wickets in 233 T20s at an economy-rate of 7.43.
Shamsi, who had been Tahir’s understudy for long in South Africa, was picked by Karachi Kings. The left-arm wrist-spin bowler has played 59 T20Is in which he has taken 73, while he has bagged 225 wickets in 192 T20s. The three players were picked in the Supplementary round.
The 36 foreign players picked up in the draft were from 10 T20I playing countries, including Afghanistan (five), Australia (three), England (10), Ireland (two), Namibia (one), New Zealand (four), South Africa (four), Sri Lanka (two), West Indies (four) and Zimbabwe (one).
All six teams were allowed to pick three players each from the Platinum, Diamond and Gold categories, five from Silver, two from Emerging and two from Supplementary. It would mean that all six teams could grow their squad size to at least 18. The franchises also had Right-to-Match cards to win back players they had released.
Squads (foreign player names in brackets):
Islamabad United – Alex Hales (England), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Afghanistan), Shadab Khan (all Platinum), Asif Ali, Fazal Haq Farooqi (Afghanistan), Wasim Jr (all Diamond), Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali (all Gold), Abrar Ahmed, Colin Munro (New Zealand), Paul Stirling (Ireland), Rumman Raees, Sohaib Maqsood (all Silver), Hassan Nawaz, Zeeshan Zamir (both Emerging). Moeen Ali (England) and Mubasir Khan (Supplementary)
Karachi Kings Haider Ali, Imran Tahir (South Africa), Matthew Wade (Australia) (all Platinum), Imad Wasim, James Fuller (New Zealand), James Vince (both England) (all Diamond), Andrew Tye (Australia), Mohammad Amir, Shoaib Malik (all Gold), Aamer Yamin, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Akhlaq, Sharjeel Khan, Tayyab Tahir (all Silver), Irfan Khan Niazi, Qasim Akram (both Emerging). Mohammad Umar and Tabraiz Shamsi (South Africa) (Supplementary)
Lahore Qalandars Fakhar Zaman, Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Shaheen Shah Afridi (all Platinum), Dawid Wiese (Namibia), Hussain Talat, Haris Rauf (all Diamond), Abdullah Shafique, Liam Dawson (England), Sikander Raza (Zimbabwe) (all Gold), Ahmad Daniyal, Dilbar Hussain, Harry Brook (England), Kamran Ghulam, Mirza Tahir Baig (all Silver), Shawaiz Irfan, Zaman Khan (both Emerging). Jalat Khan and Jordan Cox (England) (both Supplementary)
Multan Sultans David Miller (South Africa), Josh Little (Ireland), Mohammad Rizwan (all Platinum), Khushdil Shah, Rilee Rossouw (South Africa), Shan Masood (all Diamond), Akeal Hosein (West Indies), Shahnawaz Dahani, Tim David (Australia) (all Gold), Anwar Ali, Sameen Gul, Sarwar Afridi, Usama Mir, Usman Khan (both Silver), Abbas Afridi, Ihsanullah (both Emerging). Adil Rashid (England) and Arafat Minhas (Supplementary).
Peshawar Zalmi Babar Azam, Rovman Powell (West Indies), Bhanuka Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka), (all Platinum), Mujeeb Ur Rehman (Afghanistan), Sherfane Rutherford (West Indies), Wahab Riaz (all Diamond), Arshad Iqbal, Danish Aziz, Mohammad Haris (all Gold), Aamer Jamal, Tom Kohler-Cadmore (England), Saim Ayub, Salman Irshad, Usman Qadir (all Silver), Haseebullah Khan, Sufyan Muqeem (both Emerging). Jimmy Neesham (New Zealand) (Supplementary). Peshawar Zalmi will pick their second Supplementary at the Replacement Draft.
Quetta Gladiators Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka) (all Platinum), Iftikhar Ahmed, Jason Roy (England), Odean Smith (West Indies) (all Diamond), Ahsan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain, Sarfaraz Ahmed (all Gold), Mohammad Zahid, Naveen-ul-Haq (Afghanistan), Umar Akmal, Umaid Asif, Will Smeed (England) (all Silver), Aimal Khan, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai (both Emerging). Martin Guptill (New Zealand) and Omair Bin Yousuf (Supplementary).- – IANS