LAHORE, Pakistan: The much-awaited HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) Player Draft took place here on Monday at the National Cricket Academy, with all five franchises picking nine players each on day one.
Having opted for a draft in place of an auction in order to ensure better competition, HBL PSL has already started yielding results as all five teams are equally stocked with star power and skill.
The proceedings started off with the widely expected pick order trade between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi.
As a result of the trade, Peshawar made the first pick in the Platinum category and opted for Pakistan T20 captain Shahid Afridi.
Seasoned Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik was picked by the Karachi Kings while Australian all-rounder Shane Watson was snapped up by Islamabad United.
In their first Platinum pick, England’s star batsman Kevin Pietersen was drafted by the Quetta Gladiators. With the last pick in round one of the Platinum category, Lahore Qalandars picked up West Indian superstar Chris Gayle.
The event saw many stars of Pakistan Cricket gathering to become a part of this historic occasion.
The old stars Wasim Akram, Mushtaq Ahmed, Ijaz Ahmed, and Ramiz Raja were joined by the current lot including Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, Sarfraz Ahmed, and Imad Wasim as the excitement continued to build up as teams revealed their picks.
At the end of day one, all teams now have nine players each. On day two, teams will complete their squads as they pick players from the Silver and Emerging categories.
Teams have to pick a minimum squad of 16 members while they may opt for up to 20 players. Any picks on top of the minimum squad size of 16 will be categorized as supplementary picks.
Day 1 picks
Shane Watson, Andre Russell, Misbah ul Haq (Platinum)
Brad Haddin, Mohammad Irfan, Samuel Badree (Diamond)
Muhammad Sami, Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif (Gold)
Shoaib Malik, Shakib al Hasan, Sohail Tanvir (Platinum)
Ravi Bopara, Lendl Simmons, Imad Wasim (Diamond)
Muhammad Amir, Bilawal Bhatti, James Vince (Gold)
Chris Gayle, Umar Akmal, Dwayne Bravo (Platinum)
Sohaib Maqsood, Muhammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah (Diamond)
Kevon Cooper, Cameron Delport, Mustafizur Rehman (Gold)
Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Darren Sammy (Platinum)
Muhammad Hafeez, Chris Jordan, Kamran Akmal (Diamond)
James Allenby, Junaid Khan, Tamim Iqbal (Gold)
Kevin Pietersen, Sarfraz Ahmed, Ahmad Shehzad (Platinum)
Luke Wright, Jason Holder, Anwar Ali (Diamond)
Umar Gul, Zulfiqar Babar, Elton Chigumbura (Gold)