Pakistan Super League (PSL) is set to introduce a mid-season trade window in the fourth edition of the tournament to be played in the UAE and Pakistan from February 14. The PSL has floated the idea of trading players in the middle of the tournament in a three-day window which is likely to be accepted by the franchises.
The trade window will be activated after each team has played minimum four matches and it will remain active for 72 hours. However, only those who have not played any match in the tournament will be eligible for trading.
For example, Abdullah Shafiq was part of Multan Sultans in the previous edition of the PSL but did not get to play any match. Islamabad United’s Rohail Nazir also didn’t make to playing XI. If a similar situation arises in the next edition, Islamabad and Multan can swap Abdullah and Rohail provided both players are agreed and belong to the same category. Each team can trade maximum two players.
Not only locals, international players will also be eligible for trading. Lahore Qalandars didn’t use Anton Devcich for any of their first five games in the PSL 2018 whereas Multan Sultans’ Nicholas Pooran didn’t play at all. If there is a same scenario again, the franchises will have an option of trading Devcich and Pooran in the 72 hours window.
The PSL authorities first mooted this idea before the third edition but it did not materialize. Mid-season trade window was introduced in the Indian Premier League too this year however none of the players were traded.
Karachi Kings are in a dilemma ahead of the PSL draft on November 20. They have four players in the roster – Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam, Colin Munro and Colin Ingram – who are in the platinum category. One of them has to be released as a team can retain only three platinum players.
Karachi floated a relegation request for Babar and Quetta showed interest and wanted to pick him in his base category (Platinum). For some unknown reasons, Quetta later withdrew the matching offer.
Babar then informed PSL that he wanted to be placed in his base category of Platinum. As a result, he can now be retained, traded or released by Karachi in Platinum.
If Babar is released, which is highly likely, and goes back to the draft, he will be one of the most sought-after candidates as he is number one batsman in the ICC T20 Rankings and recently became the fastest to 1000 runs in T20I history. Babar played only two games in the first edition of the PSL yet he has scored 708 runs at 33.71 and is the second highest run-getter in the tournament history - only behind his cousin Kamran Akmal (929).
Players in the Platinum category are paid in the range between 1,60,000-2,50,000 US Dollars whereas those in Diamond get from 80,000 to 100,000.
There have already been many developments before the PSL draft. Mohammad Hafeez has parted ways with Peshawar Zalmi, Brendon McCullum has not been retained by Lahore Qalandars, Quetta Gladiators have traded Sunil Narine, Umar Akmal and Silver Round Pick with Qalandars in exchange for Rahat Ali, Hassan Khan and Platinum Round Pick while Sohail Tanvir has left Sultans for Gladiators. Misbah-ul-Haq will not be playing for Islamabad United in the coming season but is likely to get a coaching role.