The franchise-based team in the Pakistan Super League Karachi Kings has announced that they have released their star batsmen Chris Gayle and Kumar Sangakkara ahead of the third edition of the tournament.
On a surprise note, the Kings have also released Shoaib Malik who was in prime form in the limited over series against World XI side which brought back international cricket to Pakistan after eight years. West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard was also released from the squad. However, they have roped in Pakistan legend Shahid Afridi from the Peshawar Zalmi, who is expected to lead the team in this year’s tournament.
Notably, the West Indian stalwart switched from Lahore Qalanders where he played the first season of the tournament to play for Karachi Kings in the second edition.
The Sri Lankan wicket-keeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara led the team in the second season of the tournament to take them only to give them a third spot finish. However, the Kings also set go another Sri Lankan great namely Mahela Jayawardene after having a poor show in the second edition. They also released Sohail Khan who was the second highest wicket-taker in the second season to rope in Mohammad Rizwan from Lahore Qalanders.
In a surprise move, Qalanders have release New Zealand all-rounder Grant Elliot who is already with the Qalanders Durban team for the inaugural season of the Global T20 league. However, they retained former New Zealand great Brendon McCullum as the captain and the mentor. They have also retained the likes of Umar Akmal, Fakhar Zaman, Sunil Naraine, Yasir Shah, Cameron Delport, Bilawal Bhatti and Aamir Yamin.
The defending champions Peshawar Zalmi retained their marquee player and highest run-scorer from the previous season Kamran Akmal but release overseas players Eoin Morgan and Tamim Iqbal who were inconsistent despite showing some a lot of promise at the start of the campaign.
It was compulsory for the existing five PSL franchises to release 10 players, two in each category – Platinum, Diamond, Gold, and Siver – including foreign players, in order to accommodate the Multan Sultans, who will sign players for their franchise next week, before making their debut in the upcoming season.