The first ever Pakistan super league was a resounding success. The tournament was unanimously praised by the fans and the players for its entertainment value and the platform it provided for the young players to showcase their skills. The success of the first edition has meant that people are anxiously waiting for the second edition. With more foreign players and more equally balanced squads, the second edition of the tournament promises to be more competitive and bigger than before. Before the tournament starts, though, let us take a look at some of the surprises we came across in the PSL 2017 draft.
- Darren Sammy the captain of Peshawar Zalmi
Mid-way through the draft, Shahid Afridi made the special announcement that Darren Sammy would take over from him as the captain of the franchise. The decision came as a surprise as not many fans were expecting the star all-rounder to give up the captaincy of the Zalmi. Even though, some fans might still want Afridi to continue, without a doubt the Zalmi management took the right decision as Sammy has vast experience and success in the field of captaincy. He has led West Indies to two world cups victories against immense odds and with the strong Zalmi squad at his disposal and with Younis khan as the coach; he can lead the Peshawar franchise to new heights.
- PSL final in Lahore
While it was rumored earlier that the final of the PSL 2017 will happen in Lahore, it was confirmed during the draft by Najam Sethi. The surprise means that fans deprived of international cricket, will finally get to see the final of the premier tournament live. Furthermore, the players will also have a chance to play in front of their home crowds. Back in January, I wrote an article detailing the reasons why I felt that the first edition of PSL will not live up to the hype. One of the reasons included was the fact that the league was happening outside Pakistan. With the announcement that the final will happen in Lahore, the anticipation of the tournament has instantly heightened furthermore, PCB has gone a long way in correcting one of the major problems with the first edition.
- Sohail Tanvir traded for Chris Gayle
Another decision that the fans knew about already, however, the trade itself is very surprising. Chris Gayle is a star T20 batsman and can easily win matches on his day. Despite the fact that his performance in the first edition was mediocre, the stature of Chris Gayle alone is good enough to retain him. The Lahore Qalanders management didn’t feel the same way, though, and traded the left-handed open batsmen for Sohail Tanvir. While Tanvir, is a great player, he is quite not on the same level as Chris Gayle in terms of the match winning ability and the psychological effect he has on the opposition side. Thus, the Karachi Kings management will be very pleased with the trade as the inclusion of Chris Gayle has strengthened their squad.
- Trade of Kumar Sangakkara
Quetta Gladiators were the underdogs going into the first edition of the tournament. Despite the underdog label the team surprised everyone and was the hot favorite to win the league. Thus, it came as a surprise when the Gladiators management let go of a player as important as Kumar Sangakkara. While Sangakkara didn’t play half of the tournament, his performance in the matches he played in was great. He scored an all-important 37 in the playoffs against Peshawar Zalmi and then he also scored a 55 in the final against Islamabad United. Despite performing decently he wasn’t retained. Yet again the Karachi Kings team will be glad as their squad is further strengthened moreover; they have already appointed the Sri Lankan batsman the captain of the team.
- Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalanders coming out the strongest
During the draft, almost fifty percent of the players were retained by the franchises. Thus, most of the squads remained the same as the last year but two teams that managed to come out in a stronger position after the draft were Lahore Qalanders and Karachi Kings. Both the teams were the expected favorites in the first edition of the PSL however; they finished in the bottom two. This year though both franchises have corrected some of their mistakes and managed to make stronger and more balanced squads. Thus, it won’t be surprising to see either one of the teams lifting up the trophy.
What did you think about the PSL 2017 draft? Leave your opinion in the comments below plus also vote for the strongest squad of the second edition, according to your opinion in the poll below.