Dubai: The Pakistan Super League (PSL) got a big boost with a large number of the tournament’s foreign players agreeing to play in the play-offs, to be held from Tuesday in Lahore.
After every win, captains, coaches and even foreign players were repeatedly asked whether their team’s foreign players were agreeing to fly to Lahore and Karachi.
A few cricketers like Kevin Pietersen had confirmed from the start that they would not fly to Lahore while a few were unsure.
When Islamabad United coach Dean Jones was asked about which of his team’s foreign players will fly to Pakistan, he said: “You will find out when you get there.”
However some teams have been badly hit and won’t be the same due to absence of their foreign players.
Karachi Kings announced that Joe Denly, Tymal Mills, Colin Ingram, Lendl Simmons and David Weisse will travel to Pakistan.
Ravi Bopara, had already announced that he would visit Pakistan.
However, England captain Eoin Morgan, who joined the team last week and even led the squad in the absence of injured skipper Imad Wasim, also said he would not visit Pakistan for family reasons.
Though Jones is unsure, it is understood that his foreign players Samit Patel, J.P. Duminy, Luke Ronchi, Chadwick Walton and Samuel Badree have agreed.
However, an official statement from the team hasn’t been issued. They are hoping that England’s Sam Billings and Steven Finn may also agree to travel.
The team which never has faced a problem is the defending champions Peshawar Zalmi. Last year too most of their foreign players played in the final at Lahore. One of the reasons is their inspirational skipper Darren Sammy who has influenced many foreign players to play in Pakistan.
Unfortunately this time, their star batsman Dwayne Smith had to fly back to West Indies due to family commitments but Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan will join the squad in Pakistan.
Quetta Gladiators has always been badly hit by their foreign players’s pullouts. Apart from Pietersen, star allrounders Shane Watson and Ben Laughlin will not be going but Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera and Australia’s Chris Green have agreed to fly.
Yorkshire’s Tom Kohler-Cadmore and West Indies Johnson Charles may also play for Quetta. They are also expecting Mohammad Mahmudullah of Bangladesh to also join the team.
Quetta team coach Moin Khan also suggested that in future, overseas players who agree to play in Pakistan should only be roped in the players’ draft.
Quetta team owner Nadeem Omer also expressed his disappointment over Watson pulling out by saying that Watson had agreed to visit but backed off at the last moment stating that his family did not agree.