Azam Khan and Haider Ali have seen their stocks rise immensely over the course of one Pakistan Super League (PSL) edition since both players have been promoted to the Gold category in the annual HBL PSL Draft categories renewals.
Pakistan's local talent in the existing squads of the six franchises has been divided into five categories based on their individual performances and reputation ahead of the PSL Player Draft for the 2021 season.
The likes of Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam and Sarfaraz Ahmed feature in the 13-man Platinum category.
Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi have three players from their teams included in the highest Platinum category whereas Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators have just one player each in the exclusive list.
Haider and Azam's meteoric rise has been particularly interesting since both players were placed in the Emerging category in the previous PSL edition.
Haider shone with his sparkling strokeplay in last year's tournament and has gone on to represent Pakistan in seven T20Is and two ODIs.
Meanwhile, Azam played a couple of magical innings for Gladiators in PSL 2020 and recently made an impact with his blistering power-hitting during the inaugural Lanka Premier League (LPL). Azam amassed 215 runs for runners-up Galle Gladiators at a steep strike rate of 186.95.
Sohail Tanvir, Imad Wasim, Kamran Akmal and Shaheen Afridi have all made the jump to the Platinum category – a significant leap from their respective standings last year.
Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali and Mohammad Nawaz have moved down from Platinum to Diamond after failing to put an impressive show in PSL 5.
Qalandars speedster Haris Rauf and Multan Sultans skipper Shan Masood have improved their status by advancing to the Diamond Category for the sixth season. Similarly, young pace sensation Mohammad Hasnain has moved upwards with the same trajectory after ending as Quetta's leading wicket-taker in PSL 2020.
The qualification for acquiring a base category of Gold relates to a player having represented Pakistan in any format. On the other hand, Under-23 players cannot remain an Emerging player for more than two years unless they have played three or less PSL games across this time period.
"The category renewals did not apply to those players who were drafted in HBL PSL 2020 Playoffs in November. These players will be part of the overall player pool that will be available for selection at the HBL PSL Player Draft," the PCB specified.
The process of finalising category renewals was handled by franchise representatives voting for every player. The list was eventually reviewed by Director of High Performance Nadeem Khan and GM Commercial Imran Ahmed Khan, who heads the PSL player acquisition.
“The category renewals for the local players is a key step towards the delivery of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2021. The renewals were done on the basis of structured and meritorious criteria with an aim of providing fair and equal opportunity to all local players in what is one of the most followed and competitive cricket leagues in the world," said Director Commercial Babar Hamid.
Teams can now partake in transfer, retention and relegation activities considering the player's base category.