Two Australians among top played picked up on opening day of Pakistan Super League draft

By Sana Jamal

Australian Test veterans Shane Watson and Brad Haddin, who recently retired from Test cricket, have been picked up by Islamabad United team on the opening day of the Pakistan Super League draft, held in Lahore on Monday.

Watson was taken as an “icon player” with the third pick for $280,000 on Monday, with Haddin joining him at Islamabad after going in the fifth round for close to $100,000.

Islamabad United team will be coached by former Australia Test and ODI batsman Dean Jones, while Pakistan’s legendary bowler Wasim Akram will be their team director.

Retired Australian paceman Brett Lee went unselected from the platinum category, while diamond players Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Shaun Tait, Jim Allenby and Nathan Hauritz were also overlooked, as were Ben Laughlin and Michael Beer in the gold category.

Shane Watson and Brad Haddin to play for Islamabad team in Pakistan Super League

Shane Watson and Brad Haddin to play for Islamabad team in Pakistan Super League

How often Watson is available to play for Islamabad will depend on whether he is selected in Australia’s ODI squad for their tour of New Zealand, as Australia’s three 50-over fixtures across the ditch overlap with the start of the PSL, which will be held in Dubai and Sharjah.

Watson wants to continue playing ODIs and T20s for Australia, and made it clear last week he had only retired from the Test arena. He remains hopeful he will feature in Australia’s ODI and T20 series against India next month, which will also prove financially rewarding.

“I know I have to be at my best and get back to my best through the start of the BBL and to give myself the best chance of still being in the Aussie set-up,’’ Watson said.

‘’I still feel like I’ve got a lot to give, whatever team I’m playing for, being as excited as I’ve been for a long time after having a proper break, to get back into playing again.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will stage the first edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) between February 4-23. Five teams have been sold for 93 million dollars (9.3 billion rupees) few days back. 5 franchises Peshawar Zalmi, Lahore Qalandars, Karachi Kings,Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators will played for Pakistan Super League (PSL). PCB said 171 foreign and 137 domestic players will be available for drafting by teams.

The first pick of the draft on Monday was no surprise, with Pakistan’s T20 captain Shahid Afridi snapped up by Peshawar Zalmi, who had traded their pick with Islamabad before the draft in bid to get the big-hitting allrounder. Another Pakistan allrounder and former captain Shoaib Malik was bagged by Karachi Kings as an Icon player.

The remaining two Icon players picked up were Kevin Pietersen and Chris Gayle, who will play for Quetta Gladiators and Lahore Qalandars respectively.

Team

Draft Picks for 2016 Season

Islamabad
United
Shane Watson (AUS), Andre Russell (WI), Misbah ul Haq, Samuel Badree (WI), Mohammad Irfan, Brad Haddin (AUS), Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Sami, Khalid Latif, Babar Azam, Imran Khalid, Kamran Ghulam, Umar Amin, Sam Billings (ENG), Rumman Raees, Amad Butt
Supplementary: Ashar Zaidi, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Siddiq

Pakistan Super League players