West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle was the biggest name to miss out during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) player draft that was held in Lahore last night.
None of the six franchises were interested in the services of the 38-year-old who looks well past his best in the shortest format.
Also, team owners were told Gayle will be available only for a part of PSL tournament as he is likely to be part of Windies’ World Cup 2019 qualifying rounds that will to be held in Zimbabwe during March-April.
The third edition of the PSL is slated to be held in the UAE and Pakistan (Lahore and Karachi) from February 23 to March 24 next year.
However, even if Gaylle was available for selection throughout the tournament, he is unlikely to have found many takers.
Gayle failed in the first edition of the PSL after managing just 103 runs in five matches for Lahore Qalandars.
He did relatively better in the second edition for Karachi Kings, scoring 160 runs in nine matches but it looks like the end of the road for him in the PSL.
“We were told that Gayle is partially available so that was one of the reasons, but even if he was available we would not have picked him because he is no more the Gayle force he once was,” a team owner was quoted as saying by Wisden.
As expected, hard-hitting Australian batsman Chris Lynn was the top pick during the player draft.
Lahore, who finished last in both editions, got the first pick and they went for Lynn, who has a T20 strike rate of 147 in 92 matches.
— Lahore Qalandars🏏 (@lahoreqalandars) November 12, 2017
Lahore now have potentiality the most destructive opening pair in the tournament in Brendon McCullum and Lynn. The Qalandars also bolstered their bowling line-up, picking T20 specialists Sunil Narine and Mustafizur Rahman.
Kiwi All-rounder Mitchell McClenaghan joined the Lahore squad as their supplementary player.
While Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans picked their top players in the first round, it was Islamabad United along with Lahore that finished looking menacing, on paper at least, given the depth of their squads.
Multan Sultans, the latest addition to the PSL, went for the reliable leg-spin of South African Imran Tahir after picking up Shoaib Malik, Kieron Pollard and Kumar Sangakkara during the pre-draft last month.
Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, who were banned for spot-fixing in 2010 during the Lord’s Test, were not picked by any franchise.
Afghanistan players are also unlikely to be available throughout the PSL and hence star leg spinner Rashid Khan was picked only as a supplementary player by Quetta Gladiators.
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