The Pakistan Super League 2019 draft is underway in Islamabad for the fourth season of the T20 league. The tournament is scheduled to being on February 14, 2019.
A total of 663 foreign and local players are available to be picked in the draft, by the six franchises: Islamabad United, Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars and the ‘Sixth Team’.
The draft sees players being divided into five categories namely- Platinum, Diamond, Gold, Silver, and Emerging. Islamabad United’s two-time PSL winning former captain Misbah-ul-Haq was picked by Peshawar Zalmi.
However, the big news in the draft was the hype around the two first time entrants in the draft- South Africa’s AB de Villiers and Australia’s Steve Smith. While De Villiers has retired from international cricket; Smith is serving a 12-month ban from international and domestic cricket and decided to put their names in the draft.
During the draft, Lahore Qalandars went with AB de Villiers as their first pick in Platinum category. The sixth team, that was formerly Multan Sultans and will be renamed later, picked up Australian Steve Smith to bolster their middle order which sees Shahid Afridi in the mix.
The ownership rights of Multan Sultans were terminated by the Pakistan Cricket Board after the franchise failed to pay its annual fee of the US $5.2 million. The team is hence referred to as the ‘Sixth Team’ pending further update.
Islamabad United, the champions of PSL 2018, will pick last. Lahore Qalandars, who finished bottom of the table in the 2018 season, have the first pick in each round. In between are the ‘Sixth Team’, Quetta Gladiators, Karachi Kings, and Peshawar Zalmi, in that order.
(With Inputs from geo.tv)