EXPLOSIVE all-rounder Elton Chigumbura will be the only Zimbabwean player to feature in the inaugural edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) after five other local players found no takers on the final day of the player draft, which ended yesterday in Lahore. BY SPORTS REPORTER
After Chigumbura was signed by the Quetta Gladiators for $50 000 on Monday, there were high hopes that other Zimbabwean players would attract suitors on the last day of the marathon draft.
However, the other five players — former captain Brendan Taylor, Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Kyle Jarvis and Sean Ervine — went unsold yesterday, as they found no takers.
The inaugural Pakistan Super League takes place in Dubai and Sharjah from February 4 to 23 and is expected to give the Zimbabwe captain much needed exposure in the game’s shortest format ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 competition.
At Quetta Gladiators, Chigumbura will be in the same team with 18 other players with some of the high profile names being Kevin Pietersen, Ahmed Shehzad, Jason Holder, Umar Gul and Kumar Sangakkara, amongst others.
Meanwhile, Chigumbura will be joined in the PSL by former Zimbabwe captain and England head coach Andy Flower, who will be the Peshawar Zalmi franchise batting coach.
“I’ve been approached to do some batting coaching for Peshawar, one of the franchises in the new Pakistan Super League,” Flower told ecb.co.uk. “I’m looking forward to doing something different.
“I’ve chatted with Andrew Strauss about whether that’s okay from an [England and Wales Cricket Board] ECB perspective and he says it is on the basis that it’s good for our English coaches to get out and about among some of these Twenty20 franchise competitions, to learn what’s happening outside of the domestic game in England, to interact with some of the international coaches and players, and to bring some of that knowledge back into our game in England.”
The three-week duration, Flower added, meant that the ECB were comfortable with him taking leave for the event.
Flower’s playing career for Zimbabwe included three tours of Pakistan, one of which, in 1998-99, resulted in a rare overseas series win, and he expressed his disappointment that the tournament couldn’t be held in the country itself, due to ongoing security concerns.
“I toured Pakistan a number of times as a player, and I think it’s really sad that we aren’t playing international cricket in Pakistan,” he said. “Of course there are good reasons for that but the sooner we get back playing in Pakistan the better.