ESPNcricinfo – West Indies allrounders Dwayne Bravo and Carlos Brathwaite as well
as England batsman Alex Hales are among the prominent players who have been ruled out of the second season of Pakistan Super League which begins on February 9.
Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal of Bangladesh and Eoin Morgan, England’s limited-overs captain, will only be only partially available. A number of reasons have forced the changes, from injury to some players to others not getting no-objection certificates to scheduling clashes with international cricket.
Each PSL team has a squad of 15, plus five supplement players who can fill in only if a local player becomes unavailable. A short player draft was thus held in Lahore on Monday to allow the five franchises to replenish their supply of overseas talent.
Lahore Qalandars chose Jason Roy, the England opener, to fill in for Bravo for the first five matches. Bravo suffered a hamstring injury while playing for Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League earlier this month. He said he would be undergoing surgery and recovering in time for the PSL in February seemed unlikely.
Lahore have also called up James Franklin, the New Zealand allrounder, to take the place of his countryman Anton Devcich, whose knee injury has flared back up. Australia fast bowler Shaun Tait was the third Lahore player ruled out – due to shoulder problems – and has been replaced by Sydney Thunder offspinner Chris Green.
Andre Russell, who hurt his hamstring and knee in the BBL, is another high-profile player who might not play the PSL this season.
Russell, who helped Islamabad United win the title last February, is also awaiting the verdict from an anti-doping hearing and if found guilty, he could be banned for a maximum of two years. Although Islamabad did not drop Russell at the draft, it is understood England fast bowler Steven Finn has been kept on standby.
Quetta Gladiators decided to swap Brathwaite for England allrounder Moeen Ali after learning he would not be available for the entire duration of the league.
With the WICB making it mandatory for players to take part in the domestic one-day competition to earn a national call-up, Brathwaite committed to the Regional Super50, which continues till February 18, nine days after the start of the PSL. Additionally, it is likely that he will be with the West Indies side when they take on England at home in the first week of March, which is when the PSL knockouts are scheduled.
Quetta have also dropped England fast bowler David Willey and bought back a player they relinquished at the October draft – New Zealand offspinner Nathan McCullum. Sri Lanka allrounder Thisara Perera joined them as well, taking the spot of West Indies batsman Rovman Powell, who will be busy with the Regional Super50.
Shakib and Tamim were set to miss the initial part of the PSL in any case, as they will be involved in Bangladesh’s one-off Test against India starting from February 9. Both men were due to fly out to Dubai and join Peshawar Zalmi the day after the Test ends. For now though the franchise has named former Sri Lanka batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan as a replacement for Shakib. Peshawar have also brought in senior West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels for Hales, who is nursing a fractured hand.
PSL rules state that a team can keep five overseas players in the squad at any given time. With Hales ruled out Peshawar currently have six but on February 21, when Morgan leaves to captain England in the Caribbean, that count will dip again. It will sink below the required limit if a Bangladesh tour of Sri Lanka in February is confirmed. While it is learnt Shakib and Tamim will ask the BCB’s approval to rejoin the team if they make it to the final, Peshawar are in talks with the Afghanistan Cricket Board and are expected to recruit one of their players on Tuesday.
Mohammad Nabi and Mohammad Shahzad will miss the PSL since it runs parallel to the Afghanistan-Zimbabwe limited-overs series. Quetta have replaced Nabi with Rilee Rossouw, who recently ended his South Africa career by signing Kolpak deal, and Peshawar have called up West Indies opener Andre Fletcher as cover for Shahzad.
The PSL will organise another draft in the final week of February featuring those foreign players who are willing to go to Lahore where organisers say the final will be staged.
In: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Marlon Samuels, Andre Fletcher
Out: Shakib Al Hasan, Alex Hales, Mohammad Shahzad
In: Moeen Ali, Nathan McCullum, Thisara Perera, Rilee Rossouw
Out: Carlos Brathwaite, David Willey, Rovman Powell, Mohammad Nabi
In: James Franklin, Chris Green, Jason Roy
Out: Anton Devcich, Shaun Tait, Dwayne Bravo
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