By our correspondent
LAHORE: Nine players had their categories upgraded following the local player category renewal process for the upcoming edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League. The Pakistan Cricket Board earlier opened registration window for foreign players as well. The flagship event is tentatively scheduled for 8 February to 24 March 2024.
Naseem Shah and Iftikhar Ahmed, both Quetta Gladiators players, have been upgraded from diamond to platinum. Sarfraz Ahmed has been moved to diamond from gold. Peshawar Zalmi’s wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Haris has been shifted to diamond from gold as well. Pace bowler Salman Irshad has moved to gold from silver. Multan Sultans fast bowlers Abbas Afridi and Ihsanullah have both been promoted to the gold category, after playing as emerging picks last year.
Islamabad United wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan and pace all-rounder Faheem Ashraf have also been upgraded from gold to diamond category. Zeeshan Zamir has moved from emerging to silver, while Mubasir Khan has moved from emerging to gold. Karachi Kings’ Tayyab Tahir has moved from silver to gold, while Qasim Akram has been upgraded to gold from emerging. Lahore Qalandars’ Kamran Ghulam and Zaman Khan have been enhanced to gold from silver and emerging respectively.
Some players have been demoted. The changes include Mohammad Nawaz (Quetta, Platinum to Diamond), Mohammad Hasnain (Quetta, Diamond to Gold), Haider Ali (Karachi, Platinum to Gold) and Asif Ali (Islamabad, Platinum to Diamond). Players who have represented Pakistan internationally cannot be relegated below the gold category.
As part of the category renewal process, franchise representatives were required to vote for every player. Teams were not allowed to vote for their own players but submit review requests at the end of this voting stage.
The list was then reviewed by Director – International Cricket Usman Wahla, member of the national selection committee Tauseef Ahmad and Manager Partnerships Shoaib Khalid, who has been leading player acquisition for HBL PSL since 2021. Factors including national team performances, domestic performances and perceived T20 brand value were considered while finalising local players’ categories.
The franchises will now put forward relegation requests for the players before finalizing retentions. After relegation requests are floated, all teams are given an opportunity to meet the player’s base category. If the player’s base category is not matched, the player may be relegated to a category below his base category.
U23 players cannot be part of a squad as an Emerging player for more than two years unless they have played nine or fewer matches in those two years.
Local category player renewals (team-wise):
Islamabad United – Shadab Khan (Platinum), Asif Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Hasan Ali, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf (all Diamond), Sohaib Maqsood, Abrar Ahmed, Rumman Raees, Zafar Gohar, Mubasir Khan (all Gold), Zeeshan Zamir (Silver), Hassan Nawaz (Emerging)
Karachi Kings – Imad Wasim (Platinum), Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir (both Diamond), Haider Ali, Aamir Yamin, Sharjeel Khan, Mir Hamza, Tayyab Tahir, Musa Khan, Qasim Akram (all Gold), Mohammad Ikhlaq, Mohammad Umar, Akif Javed (all Silver), Irfan Khan Niazi, Faisal Akram (both Emerging)
Lahore Qalandars – Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Fakhar Zaman (all Platinum), Hussain Talat, Abdullah Shafique, Kamran Ghulam, Mirza Tahir Baig, Zaman Khan (all Gold), Dilbar Hussain, Ahmed Daniyal, Ahsan Bhatti, Jalat Khan (all Silver), Shawaiz Irfan (Emerging)
Multan Sultans – Mohammad Rizwan (Platinum), Shan Masood, Khushdil Shah, Usama Mir (all Diamond), Abbas Afridi, Ihsanullah, Arafat Minhas, Shahnawaz Dahani, Anwar Ali (all Gold), Sameen Gul, Sarwar Afridi, Ammad Butt, Mohammad Ilyas (all Silver)
Peshawar Zalmi – Babar Azam (Platinum), Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Haris, Saim Ayub (all Diamond), Danish Aziz, Arshad Iqbal, Aamer Jamal, Salman Irshad, Usman Qadir, Harris Sohail, Sufyan Muqeem (all Gold), Khurram Shahzad (Silver), Haseebullah, Saad Masood (both Emerging)
Quetta Gladiators – Naseem Shah, Iftikhar Ahmed (both Platinum), Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (all Diamond), Mohammad Hasnain, Ahsan Ali, Umar Akmal, Omair Bin Yousuf, Saud Shakeel (all Gold), Bismillah Khan, Umaid Asif, Mohammad Zahid, Arshadullah (all Silver), Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Aimal Khan, Yasir Khan, Khawaja Mohammad Nafay (all Emerging)