The six Pakistan Junior League teams selected some of the most prominent U19 stars from Pakistan and around the world at the player draft held today in Lahore.
A total of 66 Pakistan and 24 foreign cricketers were picked by the coaches of Bahawalpur Royals, Gujranwala Giants, Gwadar Sharks, Hyderabad Hunters, Mardan Warriors and Rawalpindi Raiders.
As part of the draft regulations, each of the six squads comprise 15 players, the teams picked four players in Elite, five in Premier and six in X-factor categories.
Besides Pakistan, players from a total of nine cricket boards would have representation at the PJL which will run from 6 October to 21 October at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore. Nineteen matches (including playoffs and final) will be played in the single-league format tournament.
Star performers of the national U19 circuit (2022-23); Obaid Shahid, Uzair Mumtaz, Muhammad Ismail, Saad Baig, Abbas Ali and Habibullah were named captains of Bahawalpur, Gujranwala, Gwadar, Hyderabad, Mardan and Rawalpindi respectively.
Nathan Edwards (West Indies), Tom Aspinwall (England), Danial Ibrahim (England), Joseph Eckland (England), Isai Thorne (West Indies), Archie Lenham (England), George Thomas (England) and Hassan Eisakhil (Afghanistan) were the foreign players picked in the Elite Category.
In the final round of the draft, the six sides picked a player each from ICC Associate Members. These players are; Gabriel Gallman-Findlay (Scotland), Matthew Tromp (USA), Kushal Malla (Nepal), Ali Naseer (UAE), Burhan Niaz (Belgium) and Charlie Tear (Scotland).
The local players selected for the PJL will continue their ongoing camp as part of the PCB Pathway Programme at the National High Performance Centre.
These players will join their respective sides when the event’s support period begins in the last week of September. The foreign players are expected to reach Lahore a week or so before the start of the tournament.
The six squads with their present support staff are available below, the PCB will confirm the remaining support staff appointments in due course.
Elite Category: Obaid Shahid (captain), Arham Nawab (vice-captain), Nathan Edwards (West Indies), Sajjad Ali
Premier Category: Ali Razzaq, Basit Ali, Mohammad Zeeshan, Nangeyalia Kharotai (Afghanistan), Rehan Ahmed (England)
X-factor Category: Ahmed Hussain, Farhan Yousaf, Gabriel Gallman-Findlay (Scotland), Mohammad Danish, Mohammad Tayyab Arif, Shahwaiz Irfan.
Support staff: Imran Tahir (mentor), Gordon Parsons (head coach), Imran Farhat (batting coach)
Elite Category: Uzair Mumtaz (captain), Ali Asfand, Azan Awais, Tom Aspinwall (England)
Premier Category: Ariful Islam (Bangladesh), Hasnain Majid, Mohammad Ibtisam, Mohammad Shan, Shevon Daniel (Sri Lanka)
X-factor Category: Hamza Nawaz, Hasan Ali Jnr, Matthew Tromp (USA), Mohammad Aqib Asghar, Mohammad Waqas, Saqlain Nawaz.
Support staff: Shoaib Malik (mentor), Ijaz Ahmed Snr (head coach), Aizaz Cheema (bowling coach)
Elite Category: Mohammad Ismail (captain), Danial Ibrahim (England), Haseeb Nazim, Joseph Eckland (England)
Premier Category: Arafat Minhas, Luc Martin Benkenstein (England), Mohammad Shoaib, Saad Masood,
X-factor Category: Adnan Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, Kushal Malla (Nepal), Mohammad AbuBakar, Momin Qamar, Muhammad Zulkifal.
Support staff: Vivian Richards (mentor), Mushtaq Ahmed (head coach), Kamran Khan (batting coach)
Elite Category: Saad Baig (captain), Afaq Khan, Aftab Ibrahim, Isai Thorne (West Indies)
Premier Category: Arbaz Khan, Haseeb-ur-Rehman, James Ross Wood (England), Lahiru Dawatage (Sri Lanka), Muneeb Wasif
X-factor Category: Ali Naseer (UAE), Fahad Amin, Hassan Iqbal, Moeez Rana, Mohammad Zubair Jnr, Salman Ahmed.
Support staff: Daren Sammy (mentor), Abdul Razzaq (head coach), Ghulam Ali (batting coach)
Elite Category: Abbas Ali (captain), Abidullah, Archie Lenham (England), George Thomas (England)
Premier Category: Daud Nazar, Haseeb Khan, Mohammad Farooq, Muhammad Nabeel, Olly Cox (England)
X-factor Category: Aimal Khan, Burhan Niaz (Belgium), Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Khan, Syed Tayyab Hussain, Zohaib Khan Shanzaib.
Support staff: Shahid Afridi (mentor), Abdur Rehman (head coach), Mohammad Sami (bowling coach)
Elite Category: Habibullah (captain), Afnan Khan, Ali Ishaq, Hassan Eisakhil (Afghanistan)
Premier Category: Ali Raza, Allah Mohammad Ghazanfar (Afghanistan), Amir Hassan, Aseer Mughal, Kai Smith (England)
X-factor Category: Charlie Tear (Scotland), Haroon Arshad, Naveed Ahmed Khan, Usman Khan, Wahaj Riaz, Ziaullah.
Support staff: Colin Munro (mentor), Toby Radford (head coach), Mohammad Masroor (batting coach)