Sunday’s Pakistan Super Leauge Draft saw some big names dumped and traded, while others attracted the big money that epitomises the auctions in franchise cricket.
Like any other T20 league, it’s the big name international stars that add pedigree to the tournament.
And here are six of those big signings for the six PSL teams for the third edition.
- Carlos Braithwaite (Quetta Gladiators)
In the current captain of the West Indies T20 side, the man who hit four consecutive sixes in the final over to win the World Cup for his side, Quetta Gladiators have an explosive all-rounder who can win them any game with the bat, and can do a good job with the ball as well.
Runners-up in both PSL seasons so far, the Gladiators have relied on their top order in the first two seasons have lacked that big hitter down the order.
They might have precisely that in the shape of Carlos Braithwaite, who might be the differential that helps Quetta go one step further.
- Shakib al Hasan (Peshawar Zalmi)
He had a quiet first season with the Karachi Kings in 2016, much like the rest of the squad that finished second from bottom. With Zalmi he is expected to replace the massive void left by the trade of Shahid Afridi to his former team.
Easily one of the best all-rounders in the game, Shakib will not only add depth to the Zalmi middle-order, he will also relish bowling on the spinning tracks in the Emirates – and later in Pakistan.
It would be no coincidence if Zalmi’s performance mirrors that of Shakib al Hasan as Peshawar look to defend their PSL crown.
- JP Duminy (Islamabad United)
JP Duminy’s pedigree in the T20 format, in addition to his stats for South Africa, can be gauged by the fact that he captains the Delhi Daredevils.
Duminy will be crucial for a United side that would be without Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Brad Haddin, Dwayne Smith, and Shane Watson – the entirety of the batting lineup in the first season of the PSL, which Islamabad won via a late resurgence.
If needed, Duminy is more than handy with the ball as well. But it is experience in the top-order that would be absolutely critical for Islamabad United.
- Imran Tahir (Multan Sultans)
There is always a tinge of irony whenever Imran Tahir features as a foreign player with reference to Pakistan, whether it’s the PSL or the ICC World XI. But there’s no questioning South African leggie’s stature as among the very best in the game.
Among the international elites, Imran Tahir is arguably the highest profile foreign player in the PSL. And Multan Sultans would be relying heavily on his spin and guile – not to mention the infectious passion he brings – to make their mark in their debut season.
- Chris Lynn (Lahore Qalandars)
The mouthwatering prospect of Brendon McCullum and Chris Lynn opening for Lahore Qalandars – just live they’ve done for Brisbane Heat – has already got everyone excited about the coming season.
Lynn is not just a T20 specialist, he is a T20 league specialist having only played five internationals for Australia.
With a career strike rate of almost 150 in 92 T20s, Qalandars are going gung-ho with the bat for the third season in a row. Lynn and co would be hoping it’s not a third successive bottom finish in the league for them.
- Mitchell Johnson (Karachi Kings)
Fancy an all left-armer pace attack featuring Mitchel Johnson, Mohammed Amir and Usman Khan Shinwari?
He might’ve retired from international cricket two years ago, but Johnson remains one of the prime performers in the IPL and Big Bash. It was only in January this year that he with produced the most economical spell in BBL history, with 3/3 from 4 overs.
If he can replicate some of that the Kings might have a shot at playing the final that Karachi looks set to be hosting next season.