One of the most talked about parts in the PSL draft was when Chris Gayle went unpicked. The swashbuckling West Indian power hitter has been drawing huge prices from the franchises in the other T20 leagues around the world, but the PSL franchises chose to overlook him.
This move from the six franchises looked very surprising but there are some reasons which have led to his snub.
Since West Indies are currently placed at No. 9 in the ICC ODI Rankings, they will take part in the World Cup qualifiers taking place next year. Recently, Chris Gayle made a comeback in the ODIs against England and will be a part of future West Indian assignments. That means his availability would have been a question due to the possible clash of dates between PSL and WC qualifiers.
Gayle was a part of Lahore Qalandars in the first season but he couldn’t fire on all cylinders during his stint. In the five matches he played during the first season, Gayle scored 103 runs at a mere 20.60. In the five games he played for Qalandars, Gayle registered two first-ball ducks, two 30+ scores which included one fifty.
For the next season, Chris Gayle and Sohail Tanvir were traded with Tanvir joining Lahore Qalandars and Gayle getting picked up by Karachi Kings in turn. Gayle, however, didn’t do well in his stint with Karachi Kings. In the nine matches he played, Gayle accumulated 160 runs at 17.77 only.
According to some reports, Gayle had issues with the management of the Lahore Qalandars which possibly lead to his trade after the first edition of PSL.
Gayle is neither very swift in his running between the wickets nor a quick man in the outfield. Fielding plays a critical role in modern day cricket and this is something the sides take into consideration when picking players.
For example, Islamabad United have picked JP Duminy in the Platinum Round for this season. Duminy is a good middle order batsman and is a gun fieldsman. A lot of people criticized Multan Sultan’s decision to pick Ahmed Shehzad as his record in the recent times hasn’t been impressive. But again, not only does he possess a good record with the bat in the PSL, he can save a lot of runs in the outfield.
Teams are now looking for more effective players rather than opting for the stardom of a particular player.
For example, Luke Ronchi has been picked by Islamabad United despite not having the tag of a star player. Ronchi has enjoyed a decent run in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and can score runs at a sharp pace at the top of the order.
Kumar Sangakkara who holds a reputation of being one of the top batters was released by Karachi Kings after the second season of the PSL. Sangakkara led Karachi Kings in the second season but didn’t live up to the expectations with the bat – managing only one 50+ score in ten games.