Before the drafting for the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), the process of change and decision making in various franchises began. The next season of the Pakistan Super League is likely to start from February 20 next year and this time some important changes are likely to be made by the teams. Fakhar Zaman, the key opening batsman of Lahore Qalandars, has decided to represent another franchise in the next edition and this has been officially announced.
Fakhar Zaman said in his message on social networking site Twitter that thanks to Lahore Qalandars for four memorable seasons, you have given me a platform to showcase my talents while playing an important role in my career, my eyes are now new. Focus on the challenge. Lahore Qalandars released Fakhar Zaman for PSL 6 after which the opening batsmen will now be part of the draft for the sixth edition of PSL.
Thank you @lahoreqalandars for the last 4 memorable seasons. You’ve played a huge role in my career by providing me an opportunity to showcase my skills.— Fakhar Zaman (@FakharZamanLive) December 30, 2020
Looking forward to a new challenge in the upcoming season. pic.twitter.com/sDC7CnanHD
According to sources, Fakhar Zaman also wanted to play in Lahore Qalandar's Platinum category but in view of possible denial, he decided to represent another league team which was also agreed upon by the franchise. It should be noted that Fakhar Zaman had scored the most runs for Lahore Qalandars in PSL this year. Despite Fakhar Zaman's departure, Lahore Qalandars have Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez in the Platinum category.
Prior to the PSL draft, all franchisees will be allowed to retain 8 players while all other players will have to be released. Speaking of teams, Lahore Qalandars are likely to retain captain Sohail Akhtar, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hafeez, and Ben Dunk. Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfraz Ahmad, Ben Cutting, Mohammad Hasnain, and Azam Khan are likely to be retained.
Similarly, Kamran Akmal, Wahab Riaz, and Hassan Ali are likely to retain their place in the 2017 champions Peshawar Zalmi. Two-time champions Islamabad United are likely to retain captain Shadab Khan, Hussain Talat, Fahim Ashraf, and Devon Milan. Speaking of international players in the teams, the next edition is likely to feature world-renowned South African players AB de Villiers and Faf Dupleix.
At the same time, Afghanistan's league spinner Rashid Khan, who has been named the best T20 player of the decade, has a bright prospect of joining the league. However, due to the resurgence of the Coronavirus epidemic, it will be a big challenge for the Pakistan Cricket Board to ensure the participation of as many foreign players as possible as arrangements will have to be made keeping in view the travel restrictions and SOPs.
It may be recalled that the category of players was renewed for the next season of the league while the management of the league has also announced a pick order for the draft process. In terms of selection of players, it will be the first pick of the Islamabad United team after which Multan Sultans will be able to select the second player.
The Lahore Qalandars on the third, Peshawar Zalmi on the fourth, Quetta Gladiators on the fifth and the reigning champions Karachi Kings in the list will select the players in the draft.