Even before the Pakistan Super League comes to life, controversies continue to galore its surroundings. The most recent one being Pakistan’s bating stalwarts Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq being omitted from the list of iconic players to be playing the Twenty20 tournament and both batsmen not very happy with the exclusion.
The list for iconic players was decided by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday. The board opted for two foreign players who no longer represent their country as icon players instead of current Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq and former Test skipper Younis Khan.
Ironically, Younis led Pakistan to their only World T20 title in 2009. Misbah has also played the role of skipper in this format and interestingly, both players still remain to be active members in this format for their nation.
“They are not happy and indications are that they will convey to the board that if they are not given leadership positions in the PSL franchise teams they might skip it,” one well-informed source stated.
Younis has already publicly expressed his interest in playing a leading role in the PSL.
“I would like to have a leadership position in the PSL like say being captain or mentor besides being a player,” Younis had told the media.
Nadeem Omar, who has brought the Quetta team, said that each of the five franchises have to take one icon player from the list of Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Shane Watson.
“After taking one icon player each the franchises then can choose players from the platinum, gold, silver and emerging categories,” he said.
Asked on the basis on choosing the foreign players as icons over the current stalwarts, a source said, “Pietersen is someone who has not been given this status in any other cricket league and is someone who has been sidelined by England for more than a year now,” the source said.
“On other hand, Watson has retired from Australian team duty in comparison both Younis and Misbah remain active players at the Test level,” he added.
The PCB has also ignored former T20 captain Mohammed Hafeez from the icon player’s list.
Amongst all this, Former Pakistan Test pacer Sikander Bakh starts a new controversy all together. He says that the selection of Dean Jones as coach in PSL is not very appreciated as the former Australian Test batsman was suspected of match-fixing. Bakh added that as Jones, head coach from Islamabad team, he was forced to retire from International cricket by Cricket Australia because of the suspicion.