IPL

PSL 2021 to feature additional Australian players after tournament’s latest draft

329

More Australian players have joined the roster for the rescheduled Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 and will be playing for respective franchises when the pandemic-hurt tournament resumes in June.

Jack Wildermuth, Jake Weatherald and Tim David have emerged as the latest Australian signings for the PSL 2021 after the competition’s third draft held over the weekend.

The six PSL franchises filled in gaps in their squads after realising they won’t have all their first-choice picks available due to the busy international and domestic calendar.

Also Read: “Bubble In Karachi Was Not Secured And Not Well Maintained” – PSL Overseas Player Reveals

PSL 2021

PSL 2021 will resume in UAE on June 1

PSL 2021 to feature additional Australian players after tournament’s latest draft

Quetta Gladiators picked Wildermuth and Weatherald, while David was roped in by the Lahore Qalanders. Notably, all-rounder Ben Cutting has opted out of the PSL 2021 despite initially travelling to UAE for the same.

Cutting wasn’t one of the Aussie players who returned home from the Maldives via a BCCI arranged chartered flight after the recently-suspended IPL 2021. He instead went to Dubai following the completion of his extended isolation, looking to resume playing for the Gladiators in the PSL.

However, in a last-minute change of plans, Cutting decided to go back home fearing extensive bio-bubble fatigue. The 34-year-old Cutting, who was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for this year’s IPL, had been shifting bubbles since the start of Sydney Thunder’s BBL campaign last Aussie summer.

“I love the PSL and playing for Quetta but in the current climate of bio bubbles and quarantine it’s difficult to do everything,” Cutting, who is currently in a hotel quarantine, told cricket.com.au.

“I have been in bubbles since I left home on November 30, only having a week outside them for my wedding in February. I left two days later for the first round of the PSL and I needed a mental break from quarantine.”

“I have come home to refresh, reset and get back into things again at whatever tournament pops up next.”

Two other popular Aussie names Dan Christian and Chris Lynn have also decided against returning to play the PSL 2021. Christian majorly due to his contractual obligations in UK’s T20 Blast with Nottinghamshire, and Lynn perhaps down to the extended period inside bubbles in India and Maldives.

Fawad Ahmed and Ben Dunk, however, will rejoin Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars, respectively, after travelling to Pakistan for the PSL 2021 in March.

Fawad, interestingly, was one of the players who tested COVID-19 positive in March and was bedridden for as many as 17 days. While the health problem didn’t diminish his desire to continue playing T20 leagues in pandemic times, Fawad had urged PSL authorities to put stricter protocols and biosecurity measures in place.

Usman Khawaja (ISU), James Faulkner (LQ) and Callum Ferguson (LQ), who were picked in the second draft held online for the PSL 2021 earlier in the year, will be seen playing the tournament in UAE. Khawaja, who would’ve hoped to travel to the country of his birth via this PSL stint, will have to settle with representing Islamabad in the Middle East for now.

Only 14 of the 34 scheduled PSL 2021 games were possible when a cluster of COVID-19 cases among players and support staff led to its suspension in March. The rest of the tournament has now been rescheduled for a window from June 1 to 20, with UAE chosen as a safe destination.

According to a report by ESPNcricinfo, players from all six franchises will have a week-long pre-tournament quarantine in UAE. It is understood, overseas cricketers from South Africa and players from the subcontinent will be reaching the Middle East via chartered flights, whereas their Aussie counterparts will arrive through commercial flights.



A cricket writer by heart and profession. Currently at work for CricXtasy. Previously with Circle of Cricket. You can find him on Twitter @crickashish217