For the first time in its history, the Pakistan Super League (PSL) will have a mid-season transfer window where teams will be given 48 hours to exchange two unused players each.
According to reports, all six franchises will be allowed to trade two players who have not featured for them in the tournament so far when the transfer window opens towards the end of the week.
The transfer window will open once all teams have played four matches each in the competition and is likely to come into effect after Friday’s double-header at Sharjah has been completed.
“The two-day window will be open for teams once they have completed four games each for mid-season transfer. Only those players can be traded who haven’t played a single game in the league by the time of window,” a PSL official was quoted as saying by Geo TV.
According to the rules of the window, two players can only be traded if they belonged to the same category in the initial PSL player draft. For example, if a player was picked up in the Platinum Category by a franchise in the draft, then he can only be traded with another player belonging to the same category.
A trade will only be finalised with the consent of all three parties involved including the player.
Theoretically, many players should be up for grabs including Mohammad Abbas, Haris Sohail and Aaron Summers but it remains to be seen if teams choose to exercise this option. A similar transfer window was implemented in the Indian Premier League (IPL) last year but barely any player movement was seen ultimately.
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The controversial batsman is set to play on his biggest stage since the end of his five-year suspension for spot-fixing in 2016 after being called up by Lahore Qalandars.
Lahore have lost their talisman Mohammad Hafeez for the duration of the tournament due to injury, and 34-year-old Butt has been selected as an experienced replacement to shore up the batting order.
Butt, scorer of eight ODI centuries, most recently played for Lahore Whites in Pakistan’s National T20 Cup – now he has set his sights on impressing national selectors and coach Mickey Arthur.
“I really hope that if I can come good and help the team win then definitely the other things will work out,” Butt told reporters in Lahore on Wednesday before flying to the UAE.
“These things always happen in life. Somebody goes down somebody comes up … nobody can control that. I wish him [Hafeez] all the best in his recovery and hope he’s back for Pakistan.”
Selectors have opted for youth over experience of late, with openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq both impressing hugely in ODIs since their debut in 2017.
Pakistan will remain in the UAE for the ODI series against Australia next month, while the World Cup starts in May. Despite the strong competition, Butt hopes to stick around with them.
“Definitely I’ve been keeping my hard work going on,” Butt added. “The thing to learn was how to keep yourself motivated throughout this long time and this long awaited call has come.”
Butt’s first game for Lahore is likely to be against Multan Sultans in Sharjah on Friday.
Quetta Gladiators continued their blazing start to PSL 2019 as they stormed to their third straight win, defeating Multan Sultans by eight wickets in Sharjah on Wednesday.
Chasing 161 for victory, Quetta opener Shane Watson got his second straight fifty of the season (61 off 40 balls) while Rilee Rossouw finished the game off with 67 from 45 balls as the table toppers reached home in 18.3 overs.
Quetta restricted Multan to 160-9 with leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed giving away just 22 runs in his four overs. Shoaib Malik played a captain’s knock for Multan, hitting 53 from 37 balls to add some impetus to the innings as no other batsman made more than 30 against a disciplined Quetta attack.
Leg-spinner Fawad (1-22) and left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir (1-29) produced yet another efficient effort with the ball to tie the Multan batsmen down on a true Sharjah pitch.
Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed proved his mastery in the T20 format once again, taking a close lbw DRS call against the dangerous looking opener James Vince (28 off 17 balls) and getting vindicated.
A crucial moment of the match came late in the first innings when dangerman Shahid Afridi was out for a golden duck, lbw against Mohammad Irfan, as Multan were reduced to 144-6 in the 18th over.
In the chase, Quetta’s Australian opener Watson was in vintage form once against as he cracked his second successive fifty, defying the struggles of most batsmen against the challenging pitches and quality bowling of the league.
Watson did the bulk of the scoring as he raced to a half-century, with Rilee Rossouw doing well to just give him company.
Once Watson departed for 61, Rossouw took over and upped the scoring rate. His unbeaten 67 ensured there were no more hiccups.
Multan Sultans: 160-9
Shoaib Malik: 53
Fawad Ahmed: 1-22
Quetta Gladiators: 161-2 in 18.3 overs
Shane Watson: 61
Rilee Rossouw: 67*