Shahid Afridi becomes first pick of PSL
LAHORE : Pakistan’s Twenty20 skipper Shahid Afridi on Monday became the first pick of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) after Peshawar Zalmi signed up the flamboyant all-rounder to play for its franchise.
With 308 cricketers on board, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) kicked off players’ drafting in Lahore’s National Cricket Academy.
Shahid Afridi said he would have loved to play for any team but it made more sense for him to play for Peshawar Zalmi because it complements the work his foundation is doing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s remote areas.
Giving credit to the PCB for organising the mega cricket league, Afridi said the platform should be used to promote new faces and to encourage new talent.
Karachi Kings didn’t hesitate in signing up the former captain Shoaib Malik to play for them, while Quetta Gladiators got England star Kevin Pietersen.
Lahore Qalandars perhaps made the most interesting pick for its franchise by signing West Indian hardhitter Chris Gayle. Shane Watson of Australia was picked up by Islamabad United.
The PSL has already finalised the sale of commercial rights for franchises, broadcast, and title sponsorship.
“By opting for a draft system in place of a player auction, PSL will ensure a level-playing field as each team will have to choose a certain number of players from each category. As a result of this, each team will spend an equal amount on drafting players. Top players will, therefore, play for all five teams,” the PCB said in a statement.
The PSL players list includes 137 Pakistani and 171 foreign players. The short-listed players have been divided into five categories.