Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO, Wasim Khan, has claimed the sixth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) to be bigger and better. Top international stars from across the globe, such as Chris Gayle, Rashid Khan, Dale Steyn, David Miller, and many more, are set to take part in the star-studded event, scheduled to begin from 20 February in Karachi.
The franchises assembled their squads for PSL 6 just a few days ago in an extravagant draft held at the National High-Performance Center in Lahore. Established Pakistani players such as Hasan Ali, Mohammad Rizwan, Sohaib Maqsood, and Imam-ul-Haq, were some of the players that headlined the draft while PSL also saw some deserving domestic players get their reward.
Zeeshan Malik and Danish Aziz, who were exceptional in the recently concluded National T20 Cup were rewarded for their hard work as they were picked up by Karachi Kings. Ahmed Safi Abdullah and Mohammad Waseem Jr. were picked up by Islamabad United. However, apart from some of the players, many top performers and domestic stars were ignored by PSL franchises.
This puts a question mark on the selection policy of some of the franchises. Lahore Qalandars, as usual, decided to pick two players from their talent hunt program in the emerging category while established domestic performers were left out.
Lahore’s two emerging players in PSL 5, Mohammad Faizan and Maaz Khan had a minimal role throughout the tournament. They batted for only 8 balls and only bowled 14 overs out of a possible 52 overs between them in the entire tournament. They didn’t get proper chances to prove their mettle.
Umer Khan, who was a revelation in PSL 4, having picked up 15 wickets at an average of 16.13 and an economy rate of 7.11, was not picked up by any franchise in the latest edition of PSL. His dismissals were of exceptional batsmen as well, including the likes of AB De Villiers, Luke Ronchi, and Shane Watson.
Abdullah Shafique, who recently made his T20I debut for the national team on the back of strong performances in the National T20 Cup, was also ignored in the draft.
Bismillah Khan, Taj Wali and Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, three of Balochistan’s top performers and exciting youngsters in the current domestic season were also not picked up by any of the franchise. Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, an exciting opener was fast-tracked into the Balochistan line-up for the National T20 Cup for his magnificent performances in the 2nd XI, enlisted in the emerging category, he could have been one of the break-out stars of PSL 6.
Saud Shakeel has been one of the top performers in the domestic circuit for some years now, and his performances have been ignored in the national set-up for quite a while. He would have been hopeful of securing himself a spot in PSL with any franchise but, he was also ignored.
Hasan Mohsin is another young, exciting prospect who was ignored in the draft. He has been a part of PSL previously, but his opportunities in the starting line-up were scarce.
The list of such deserving players goes on and on, Mubasir Khan, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Huraira, Mohammad Haris, Saif Badar, and Ali Imran, to name a few. There have been rumors of the seventh team for PSL 7, and it could not come at a better time for such players to make a name for themselves at the biggest level.