Player draft system introduced for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy

Player draft system introduced for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy

The selection process was changed despite the strong objections raised by Karachi, the largest cricket association in the country.

Inzamam-ul-Haq
Pakistani cricket chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq. (Photo by ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)

For the first time in the history of Pakistan cricket, eight players were selected through the player draft process in the country’s premier domestic tournament by as many as eight regional teams. A total of 12 players, including two emerging players, were selected through the traditional process of picking players from their own senior inter-districts. These eight players have been added to 12 campaigners, who have already been selected by the regions for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy starting on Sept 26.

Now all the regions — Lahore Blues, Lahore Whites, Karachi Whites, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Fata and Peshawar — comprise 20 players each, including two emerging cricketers. The first ten players in each list were selected by the regions themselves while 11th and 12th player in each list are emerging players, also chosen by the regions. And the players in the list from 13 to 20 were selected by all the regions through the player draft from a list of 150 cricketers prepared by the national selection committee headed by Inzamam-ul-Haq the Dawn reported.

Not without resistance

Pakistan’s domestic cricket has been the subject of an overhaul almost every second year for the past decade and this year, the almost radical method of selecting players by the player draft was introduced. The format remains intact for the second year running, with 16 teams (eight regional and eight departments) but the selection process was changed despite the strong objections raised by Karachi, the largest cricket association in the country.

Because the move faced so much criticism, the board had to agree to a compromise of the balance of players picked through the draft. The PCB had initially intended to select 12 players through a draft system, leaving regions with eight players who they had to pick from their districts.

Facing pressure from cricket quarters within the country, the PCB had no option but to find a middle ground by allowing associations to pick 60% of players through more conventional routes from their respective regions.