Watson to play in PSL: PCB

Karachi: Australian all-rounder Shane Watson is the latest overseas player to give his consent to appear in the Pakistan Super League T20 event, scheduled next February in Dubai and Sharjah.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said Watson had become the 152nd foreign player to sign the consent form to play in the PSL.

The PSL secretariat is scheduled to hold the players draft/auction in December for the PSL in which initially five franchise teams will compete with each team allowed to field four to five overseas signings.

Najam Sethi who heads the PSL project said the signing of Watson was a positive development given his background and he would definitely be a hot pick in the PSL draft.

Sethi however conceded that the PCB might allow a special category of players in the PSL draft process and the maximum amount in this category could be USD 200,000 to 225,000 for a overseas player.

“We might allow this special category in which the limit could be raised to 200 to 225 thousand dollars.”

Initially the PCB had announced the minimum and maximum amount for players signings would be USD 25,000 to USD 150,000 but sources say some of the top names who have signed the consent forms have now started demanding higher sums.

A source aware of the developments said the PCB/PSL secretariat appeared to have misjudged the situation and jumped the gun by announcing the minimum and maximum signing amounts for the foreign and local top players.

“Some of the foreign players who played in the Caribbean premier league and Bangladesh premier league for between USD 75,000 to 90,000 dollars are now demanding much higher sums through their agents,” the source told PTI.

He said this was the reason the PCB had been forced to raise the maximum cap for signing top overseas players to USD 225,000.

The 152 foreign players who have signed consent forms belong to the eight full test playing nations and five associate member countries.

The full members exclude India but Sethi said in a recent interview he would try to talk to the Indian officials to convince them to allow atleast some Indian players to appear in the inaugural edition of the PSL which would boost the prestige and reputation of the league.

Sethi said he was looking at a cohesive situation where Indian players were welcome to play in the PSL and Pakistani players also got invites for the Indian Premier League.

Some of the top players who have signed the consent forms which do not include any financial agreements include Kevin Pietersen, Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Kieron Pollard, Grant Elliot, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russel, Darren Sammy, Ravi Bopara, Shakib ul Hasan, James Anderson, Luke Wright, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Ian Bell, Samuel Badree, Sunil Narine, Angelo Matthews, Tim Bresnan, Lasith Malinga, Samit Patel, Fidel Edwards, Michael Carberry, Brendon Taylor, Chris Jordan, Kemar Roach, Jesse Ryder, Adil Rashid, Thessera Perara.