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Sohail Ali

LAHORE, Dec 24 (APP): The HBL Pakistan Super League 2021 is set to showcase Pakistan’s best talent once again as categories of the players who took part in the HBL PSL 2020 have now been finalised.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who was the Player of the Tournament in the 2020 edition after scoring 473 runs in 12 matches, is joined by Karachi Kings teammates Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir in the Platinum category.

Islamabad United captain Shadab Khan continues in the Platinum category as his teammate Faheem Ashraf moves down to the Diamond category for the HBL PSL 2021.

Peshawar Zalmi trio of Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Wahab Riaz have been placed in the Platinum category while fast bowler Hasan Ali moves to the Diamond category.

Multan Sultans captain Shan Masood has moved up to the Diamond category with his impressive performances across HBL PSL 2020 and the National T20 Cup. Shan’s teammates Shahid Afridi and Sohail Tanvir have been placed in the Platinum category.

Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfaraz Ahmed is in the Platinum category while fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain moves up from Gold to Diamond after ending as Quetta’s leading wicket-taker in the HBL PSL 2020 with 15 wickets.

Fakhar Zaman, who ended up as the second highest scorer in the HBL PSL 2020 with 325 runs in 12 matches for Lahore Qalandars, continues in the Platinum category where he is joined by teammates Mohammad Hafeez and Shaheen Shah Afridi, the highest wicket-taker of HBL PSL 2020.

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Qalandars pacer Haris Rauf’s meteoric rise continues as the fast bowler moves up from Gold to Diamond. He is the leading wicket-taker in 2020 with 57 scalps at 19.57.

With the category renewal process and pick order finalised, the transfer and retention window is now officially open.

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, Pakistan Cricket Board, High Performance , Nadeem Khan and GM Commercial PCB, Imran Ahmed Khan, who has been leading player acquisition for HBL PSL since 2017. Factors including national team performances, domestic performances and perceived T20 brand value were considered while finalising local players’ categories.

Director Commercial, PCB Babar Hamid said here on Thursday : “The category renewals for the local players is a key step towards the delivery of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2021.

The renewals were done on the basis of structured and meritorious criteria with an aim of providing fair and equal opportunity to all local players in what is one of the most followed and competitive cricket leagues in the world.

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“I am sure that like the previous five seasons we will see top-quality performances from our local players and a lot of young players will get a wonderful opportunity of showcasing their talents and progressing to the international stage by their exposure to a platform like the HBL PSL.”

The category renewals did not apply to those players who were drafted in HBL PSL 2020 Playoffs in November. These players will be part of the overall player pool that will be available for selection at the HBL PSL Player Draft.

Players who have represented Pakistan in any format have been assigned a base category of Gold.

U23 players cannot be part of a squad as an Emerging player for more than two years unless they have played three or less matches in those two years.

Teams can now send relegation requests for the players before finalising retentions. After a relegation request is floated, all other teams are given a chance to meet the player’s base category. If no team matches the player’s base category, the player may be relegated to a category below his base category.
The list of players not part of the HBL PSL 2020 will be released separately.