Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi and No. 1 ranked T20I batsman Babar Azam lead the list of cricketers retained by PSL franchises ahead of the draft, slated to be held in Lahore on December 6.
Surprisingly, T20 specialists such as Shoaib Malik and Sohail Tanvir have been released by their respective franchises for the fifth edition of the T20 league.
Pacer Mohammad Amir, middle-order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed and all-rounder Imad Wasim also featured in the list of retained players for Karachi Kings.
Teams were permitted to retain up to eight players from their previous roster and almost all key members of the Pakistan T20I squad have been retained by their respective franchises for PSL 2020, scheduled to start on February 20.
Complete list of retained and released players:
Players retained - Shadab Khan (Platinum), Faheem Ashraf (Diamond as Brand Ambassador), Asif Ali (Diamond), Luke Ronchi (Gold as Player Mentor), Hussain Talat (Gold), Amad Butt, Musa Khan and Rizwan Hussain (Silver)
Players released - Alex Hales, Cameron Delport, Chadwick Walton, Ian Bell, Mohammad Sami, Nasir Nawaz, Philip Salt, Rumman Raees, Sahibzada Farhan, Samit Patel, Waqas Maqsood, Wayne Parnell, Zafar Gohar and Zahir Khan
Players retained - Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir (both Platinum), Imad Wasim (Diamond as Brand Ambassador), Iftikhar Ahmed (Diamond), Aamir Yamin (Gold), Usama Mir (Silver) and Umer Khan (Emerging)
Players released - Aaron Summers, Abrar Ahmed, Ali Imran, Awais Zia, Ben Dunk, Colin Ingram, Colin Munro, Jaahid Ali, Liam Livingstone, Mohammad Rizwan, Ravi Bopara, Sikandar Raza, Sohail Khan and Usman Shinwari (transferred to Lahore Qalandars)
Players retained - Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez (both Platinum), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Diamond as Brand Ambassador), David Wiese, Usman Shinwari (Diamond, Usman transferred from Karachi Kings), Haris Rauf, Sohail Akhtar (both Gold), Salman Butt (Silver).
Players released - AB de Villiers (not available in 2020), Agha Salman, Aizaz Cheema, Anton Devcich, Asela Gunaratne, Brendan Taylor, Carlos Brathwaite, Corey Anderson (not available in 2020), Gohar Ali, Hardus Viljoen, Haris Sohail, Hassan Khan, Mohammad Imran, Rahat Ali, Riki Wessels, Ryan ten Doeschate (not available in 2020), Saad Ali, Sandeep Lamichhane, Umair Masood, Yasir Shah
Players retained - Mohammad Irfan (Platinum), Shahid Afridi (Diamond as Player Mentor), James Vince (Gold as Brand Ambassador), Junaid Khan (Gold), Ali Shafiq, Shan Masood (both Silver) and Mohammad Ilyas (Emerging)
Players released - Andre Russell (not available in 2020), Chris Green, Dan Christian, Hammad Azam, Joe Denly, Johnson Charles, Laurie Evans, M. Irfan Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Junaid, Nicholas Pooran, Numan Ali, Qais Ahmed, Shakeel Ansar, Shoaib Malik, Steve Smith (not available in 2020), Tom Moores and Umar Siddiq
Players retained - Hasan Ali, Kieron Pollard, Wahab Riaz (all Platinum), Kamran Akmal (Diamond as Brand Ambassador), Daren Sammy (Gold as Player Mentor), Imam-ul-Haq (Gold) and Umar Amin (Silver)
Players released - Andre Fletcher, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Ibtesam Sheikh, Jamal Anwar, Khalid Usman, Lendl Simmons, Liam Dawson, Misbah-ul-Haq (not available in 2020), Nabi Gul, Sameen Gul, Samiullah, Sohaib Maqsood, Tymal Mills, Umaid Asif, Waqar Salamkheil and Wayne Madsen
Players retained - Mohammad Nawaz, Sarfaraz Ahmed (both Platinum), Shane Watson (Diamond as Player Mentor), Ahmed Shehzad (Diamond), Umar Akmal (Gold as Brand Ambassador), Mohammad Hasnain (Gold), Ahsan Ali and Naseem Shah (Silver)
Players released - Anwar Ali, Danish Aziz, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Fawad Ahmed, Ghulam Mudassar, Harry Gurney, Jalat Khan, Max Waller, Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Azam Khan, Mohammad Irfan Jr, Rilee Rossouw, Saud Shakil and Sohail Tanvir.
(Inputs from India Today)