Lahore [Pakistan], January 9 (ANI): West Indies stalwart Chris Gayle will be one of the major potential picks when the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 player draft takes place on Sunday. The upcoming edition of PSL will be staged in Karachi and Lahore from February 20 to March 22.
Gayle, 41, has previously represented Lahore Qalandars (2016) and Karachi Kings (2017), and boasts one of the most remarkable and outstanding T20 careers -- 411 matches, 13,584 runs, top score 175 not out, strike-rate 146.72, 22 centuries, 85 half-centuries, 1001 sixes, and 80 wickets at an economy rate of 7.64.
If Gayle succeeds in attracting the franchises with his stardom that backs his impressive T20 career, this will be the first time since 2006 that he will play competitive cricket in Pakistan. The Jamaican's stints with Qalandars and Kings were in the United Arab Emirates.
Gayle, a two-time ICC Men's T20 World Cup winner, is one of over 400 foreign players from 20 cricket playing countries who have expressed their availability and interest in one of the most competitive and high-quality leagues in the world.
England's No.1 ranked Dawid Malan is also in the draft, along with compatriots Moeen Ali, Tom Banton, and Chris Jordan, although their availability is likely to remain limited due to their international commitments.
Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rehman of Afghanistan, the world's top two ranked bowlers, and number-one ranked all-rounder, Mohammad Nabi, will also be one of the major attractions of the draft. They are among a strong field of 38 Afghanistan players, who have registered for the draft.
South Africa's duo of David Miller and Morne Morkel have also entered the draft and will be hoping to be picked by one of the franchises so that they can also make their debuts in the event. Dale Steyn is the other leading South Africa cricketer who is available in the draft.
Karachi Kings will begin from where they finished their successful PSL 2020 campaign as they take on 2019 champions Quetta Gladiators in the opening fixture of the 2021 edition on February 20.
On the following day, 2020 finalists Lahore Qalandars will take on 2017 winners Peshawar Zalmi in a day fixture, while two-time winners Islamabad United will square off against Multan Sultans in the evening.
The 30-day tournament will culminate with the final at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on March 22, marking the first time the venue will stage the final since 2017. (ANI)