Watson, Haddin snapped up in PSL draft

Three Australians among a host of BBL players picked up in the Pakistan Super League draft

Mazher Arshad

20 October 2016, 12:06 PM

Former Australia allrounder Shane Watson and wicketkeeper batsman Brad Haddin have been retained by reigning champions Islamabad United for the second edition of the Pakistan Super League.

Both were part of Islamabad's squad that won the inaugural tournament earlier this year after defeating Quetta Gladiators in the final.

The pair weren’t the only two Australians selected in the PSL draft, held on Wednesday, with Hobart Hurricanes paceman Shaun Tait snapped up Lahore Qalandars in the supplementary round, having previously played for Peshawar Zalmi.

Haddin will also take on an assistant coaching role with Islamabad – working with head coach Dean Jones - for the 2017 tournament, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates in February and March next year.

Irfan plucks seagull catch

Adelaide Strikers captain Brad Hodge had also entered the draft, having played for Zalmi last season, but was not selected for the upcoming tournament.

Ex-New Zealand captain and Brisbane Heat import Brendon McCullum was the first player selected, taken by Lahore Qalandars, followed by Kieron Pollard who was grabbed by Karachi Kings, where he will join West Indies teammate Chris Gayle, a transfer to Kings from Lahore in exchange for allrounder Sohail Tanvir.

Windies offspinner Sunil Narine, ranked number one in the ICC T20 Rankings, will play for Lahore while World T20 sensation Carlos Brathwaite found a buyer in Quetta Gladiators.

England T20 captain Eoin Morgan joins teammates Alex Hales and Tymal Mills at Peshawar.

Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright (Quetta Gladiators); Andre Russell, Samuel Badree (Islamabad United); Chris Jordan, Darren Sammy, Tamim Iqbal (Peshawar Zalmi) and Ravi Bopara (Karachi Kings) are some of the prominent players retained by their respective franchises from last season.

Haddin blasts Islamabad into knock-out stage

The draft produced one surprise announcement, when Pakistan great Shahid Afridi handed over Peshawar’s captaincy to the two-time World T20 winning captain Darren Sammy.

Returning duo Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt went unselected, while Pakistan quick Mohammad Amir – who served a ban for match fixing with the pair but has since made a successful return to international cricket - was not just retained by Karachi, but promoted to the Diamond category.

The other notable player not picked up was the Windies' Marlon Samuels.

Retired Sri Lankan legends Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jaywardene will play together at Karachi Kings, and will be the only two Sri Lankans in PSL-2.

Sangakkara will likely captain the Kings, while Sammy and McCullum have already been announced as captains of Lahore and Peshawar respectively.

Only Islamabad (Misbah-ul-Haq) and Quetta (Sarfraz Ahmed) will be captained by Pakistan players.

The six-hour long draft that took place in Dubai Sports City saw one hundred players, including 34 imports, getting picked or retained by the five franchises. There are also 31 new faces who didn’t feature in the previous tournament.

Among the overseas players there are 10 each from West Indies and England; three each from Australia and New Zealand and two apiece from Sri Lanka, South Africa, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Players were divided into five categories – Platinum, Diamond, Golden, Silver, Emerging and Supplementary.

Each team had to pick at least five overseas players in the main draft – which included 16 selections - while in the supplementary round the franchises were able to pick up to four players, with a maximum of two imports.

Several franchises also made the most of loopholes in the draft process.

Sangakkara was demoted from Platinum to Diamond category, enabling Karachi to have an empty slot in the Platinum category which they used to pick Kieron Pollard.

As Sangakkara had already been announced as Karachi’s mentor, no other team was allowed to snap up the Sri Lankan superstar.

Peshawar made a similar move by retaining Sammy, then dropping him to Diamond category in order to get a Platinum player in the form of Morgan.

The Chairman PSL Najam Sethi also announced before the draft that the final of the second Pakistan Super League will be held in Lahore and that talks with the foreign players are currently underway.

It is not yet known if overseas players involved in the PSL have agreed to travel to Pakistan should their team reach the final.

PAKISTAN SUPER LEAGUE DRAFT (current BBL players in italics)

Peshawar Zalmi

Overseas: Eoin Morgan (Eng), Shakib Al Hasan (Ban), Darren Sammy (WI), Chris Jordan (Eng), Tamim Iqbal (Ban), Alex Hales (Eng), Mohammad Shahzad (Afg)

Local: Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood, Junaid Khanm Imran Khan Jr, Iftikhar Ahmed, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, M Asghar, Irfan Khan, Khushdil Shah

Karachi Kings

Overseas: Chris Gayle (WI), Kieron Pollard (WI), Ravi Bopara (Eng), Kumar Sangakkara (SL), Ryan McLaren (SA), Mahela Jayawardene (SL)

Local: Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir, Imad Wasim, Babar Azam, Sohail Khan, Shahzaib Hassan, Saifullah Bangash, Khurram Manzoor, Kashif Bhatti, Abrar Ahmed, Abdul Ameer, Usama Mir, Rahat Ali, Amad Alam

Islamabad United

OverseasShane Watson (Aus), Andre Russell (WI), Samuel Badree (WI), Brad Haddin (Aus), Sam Billings (Eng), Dwayne Smith (WI), Ben Duckett (Eng)

Local: Misbah-ul-Haq, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Sami, Khalid Latif, Saeed Ajmal, Asif Ali, Rumman Raees, Imran Khalid, Amad Butt, Hussain Talat, Shadab Khan, Zohaib Khan

Quetta Gladiators

Overseas: Kevin Pietersen (Eng), Carlos Brathwaite (WI), Luke Wright (Eng), Tymal Mills (Eng), Mohammad Nabi (Afg), David Willey (Eng), Rovman Powell (WI)

Local: Sarfraz Ahmad, Ahmed Shehzad, Anwar Ali, Zulfiqar Babar, Umar Gul, Mohammad Nawaz, Asad Shafiq, Saad Nasim, Umar Amin, Hasan Khan, Noor Wali, Bismillah Khan, Mir Hamza

Lahore Qalandars

OverseasBrendon McCullum (NZ), Sunil Narine (WI), Dwyane Bravo (WI), Anton Devcich (NZ), Cameron Delport (SA), Grant Elliot (NZ), Shaun Tait (Aus)

Local: Umar Akmal, Sohail Tanvir, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Rizwan, Azhar Ali, Aamir Yamin, Zafar Gohar, Fakhar Zaman, Bilawal Bhatti, Ghulam Muddassir, Usman Qadir, Saif Badar, Mohammad Irfan

Meg Lanning Steve Smith