With one week to go in the drafts of Super League (PSL) season 7 Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) revealed categories of all the local players that were a part of in the season, 6 edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL). The shake-up turned out to be quite an eventful event with many deserving candidates like Mohammad Rizwan, Asif Ali and Haris Rauf earning a promotion. We also saw expected demotions of vetran players like Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Amir. Apart from many expected changes, we also saw few unexpected changes to the player categories as there is no event in the PSL without a little drama. Following are few of the most shocking categories of players this year:
Shoaib Malik is regarded as one of the greatest franchise T20 cricket players of all-time with over 11000 runs in format but his demotion in the diamond category is not shocking on the basis of his career but majorly because of his recent performances in the shortest format of the game. In the 6th edition of PSL Shoaib Malik was the highest run-scorer for Peshawar Zalmi scoring 354 runs in 13 innings at an average of over 35 and a strike rate of 149. Not only Malik performed well in the 2021 National T20 Cup, he scored 225 runs and 149 batting in the central Punjab, with an average score of 75 points. Not only, domestic Sohaib Malik was a prominent member of a highly successful Pakistan in the World Cup 2021 with important performances in the matches against New Zealand, Afghanistan, and Scotland. Based on history and recent performances of Shoaib Malik, his demotion in the diamond category came as a shocker for many.
The Recent shake-up has turned out to be quite lucky for Peshawar Zalmi management with vetrans like Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik receiving a demotion. This one has turned out to be quite a polarising decision with many in favour of the demotion of Kamran Akmal based on his dip in form in the past few years on the other hand many not in favour of the second-highest run-scorer in the history of PSL receiving a demotion (including the man himself). With a lack of quality wicket-keepers in the domestic circuit and based on history of Kamran Akmal in the PSL this decision came across as a shocking one.
Despite his fitness issues and poor skills as a fielder Sharjeel Khan is arguably among the top opening batsmen in Pakistani T20 cricket right now with consistent performances in the domestic circuit for the past couple of years. Despite failing to deliver at the International stage in the recent past Sharjeel has been amongst the top run getters in the Pakistani domestic circuit. Performed more than 300 runs in the 6th edition of PSL with a very healthy average and strike rate, and 371 runs in the recently concluded National T20 Cup in 2021 this decision of Sharjeel Khan in the gold category has turned out to be quite a strange one.