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LIVE: Pakistan Super League 2019 Player Draft

The player draft for the fourth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) will be held in the federal capital today.

A total of 663 foreign and local players are available to be picked in the draft, by the six franchises: Islamabad United, Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars and the ‘Sixth Team’.

The ownership rights of Multan Sultans were terminated by the Pakistan Cricket Board after the franchise failed to pay its annual fee of US $5.2 million. The team is hence referred to as the ‘Sixth Team’ pending further update.

The teams had until November 13 to decide their retentions. Title holders Islamabad United retained 10 players, so they can pick six more from the draft. Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars, Peshawar Zalmi and the ‘Sixth Team’ retained eight players each and can pick another eight in the draft. Quetta Gladiators will pick seven more to add to their nine retained players. All six teams have an optional round to pick another four players from the Supplement category.

Islamabad United, the champions of PSL 2018, will pick last. Lahore Qalandars, who finished bottom of the table in the 2018 season, will have the first pick in each round. In between will be the ‘Sixth Team’, Quetta Gladiators, Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi, in that order.

What is it?

The Pakistan Super League draft is a player auction between the six teams playing in the 2019 PSL.

How can a player be an Ambassador for a team?

Each team can have one Ambassador, given additional ambassadorial responsibilities. Teams are allowed to have one player in the squad in a lower category than designated one to prevent ‘underhand’ deals. An Ambassador can be appointed at the time of retentions, or after a player has been picked at the draft.

What is the role of a mentor?

A player can be eligible for a mentor’s role if he has captained his national team and has either announced retirement from international cricket, or been inactive in the national team set-up for at least one year. The role was instituted for players like Brendon McCullum, Kumar Sangakkara, Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq. This nomination allows teams to not spend their Platinum picks on players close to retirement.

A player mentor can be relegated by a maximum of one category if designated at the time of retentions. If he is picked in the draft, he cannot be relegated and appointed mentor.

How does it work?

The retention and trading window for the upcoming tournament opened on September 29 and teams were allowed to retain up to 10 players who featured for them in the previous year.

Each squad is allowed 16 players, with potential draft picks being organised into five different categories. These categories are (in descending order of quality) platinum, diamond, gold, silver, and emerging.

Teams are allowed three platinum players, three diamond players, three gold, five silver, and two emerging. They make their picks from these categories in an order decided by their performance in the 2018 PSL, with defending champions Islamabad United going last. The order is below:

1st: Lahore Qalandars
2nd: The Sixth Team (formerly the Multan Sultans)
3rd: Quetta Gladiators
4th: Karachi Kings
5th: Peshawar Zalmi
6th: Islamabad United

How is this draft different from the previous one?

Last year, the teams could retain only a certain number of players in each category since it was an expansion year. But this year, all teams have been given the option to retain up to 10 players across any category they want, subject to the overall category restriction, which is three players in Platinum, three in Diamond, three in Gold, five in Silver, and two in Emerging.

The retention window this year closed on November 13, with Islamabad United retaining ten players, so they can pick six more from the draft. Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars, Peshawar Zalmi and ‘The Sixth Team’ retained eight players each and can pick another eight on draft day. Quetta Gladiators will pick seven more to add to their nine retained players. Each of the six teams has an optional round to pick another four players from the Supplement category.

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