Rashid Khan was picked by Lahore Qalandars while Chris Gayle makes a return to the Pakistan Super League (PSL) after being selected by Quetta Gladiators during the player draft for the 2021 edition of the competition.
Rashid's inclusion in Lahore's side will be a massive boost to the team's spin bowling stocks as he will partner veteran Englishman Samit Patel and upcoming spin sensation Maaz Khan. “I am delighted to have scooped a match-winner in Rashid Khan, but Samit Patel’s pick is something that gave me the most satisfaction," said Qalandars coach Aqib Javed.
Gayle, who has previously represented Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars, will be pairing with Tom Banton at Gladiators as the English power-hitter was also nabbed by Quetta in the Platinum category.
"We were particularly keen to have Gayle following the retirement of Shane Watson as we wanted someone who is highly experienced and a match-winner in our ranks," commented Gladiators coach Moin Khan.
Chris Lynn relocated from Lahore Qalandars to Multan Sultans whereas first-time PSL entrant David Miller will turn out for Peshawar Zalmi.
The draft process began with Islamabad United choosing Hasan Ali as a wildcard pick, given his elevation from the Diamond to Platinum status.
Defending champions Karachi Kings did not have any Platinum picks in the draft, having exhausted the limit during their retentions. They kicked off their Diamond category selections with Mohammad Nabi and then added Dan Christian in the mix.
Afghan spinners proved to be quite popular as Mujeeb Ur Rahman was snapped by Zalmi and Gladiators acquired the services of Qais Ahmad. 16-year-old Noor Ahmad too made his way into a PSL team with Karachi Kings showing interest in him.
Partial availability of certain players constrained franchises from going after the big names straight away as Islamabad waited until the supplementary round to pick Chris Jordan similar to how Qalandars chose Joe Denly in the final few minutes of the draft.
During the supplementary round, there were more stars lined up to be inducted in the squads as Dale Steyn found a new PSL home in Quetta Gladiators and Multan Sultans roped in Carlos Brathwaite.
There were no takers for world's top-ranked T20I batsman Dawid Malan, given England's tour of India scheduled soon. The notable omissions among the local talent pool included Ahmed Shehzad, Junaid Khan, Central Punjab star Abdullah Shafique and former Karachi Kings' performer Umer Khan.
The six squads for PSL 2021 due to begin on February 20 are as follows:
Shadab Khan, Alex Hales, Colin Munro, Faheem Ashraf, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Musa Khan, Zafar Gohar, Hasan Ali, Lewis Gregory, Phil Salt, Rohail Nazir, Reece Topley, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Ahmed Safi Abdullah, Chris Jordan, Akif Javed
Shahid Afridi, Rilee Rossouw, Sohail Tanvir, Imran Tahir, Khushdil Shah, James Vince, Shan Masood, Usman Qadir, Chris Lynn, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohaibullah, Adam Lyth, Shahnawaz Dhani, Mohammad Umar, Imran Khan Sr, Carlos Brathwaite
Mohammad Hafeez, Shaheen Afridi, Fakhar Zaman, David Wiese, Haris Rauf, Ben Dunk, Dilbar Hussain, Sohail Akhtar, Rashid Khan, Samit Patel, Tom Abell, Zeeshan Ashraf, Salman Agha, Mohammad Faizan, Maaz Khan, Zaid Alam, Joe Denly, Ahmad Danyal
Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Liam Livingstone, Haider Ali, David Miller, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sherfane Rutherford, Amad Butt, Umaid Asif, Saqib Mahmood, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Imran Randhawa, Mohammad Irfan, Abrar Ahmed, Mohammad Imran, Ravi Bopara, Amir Khan
Sarfaraz Ahmed, Ben Cutting, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Azam Khan, Naseem Shah, Zahid Mahmood, Anwar Ali, Chris Gayle, Tom Banton, Usman Shinwari, Cameron Delport, Qais Ahmad, Abdul Nasir, Saim Ayub, Arish Ali Khan, Dale Steyn, Usman Khan
Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir, Colin Ingram, Imad Wasim, Aamer Yamin, Sharjeel Khan, Waqas Maqsood, Arshad Iqbal, Mohammad Nabi, Dan Christian, Chadwick Walton, Joe Clarke, Danish Aziz, Mohammad Ilyas, Zeeshan Malik, Qasim Akram, Noor Ahmad