Eoin Morgan and Brendon McCullum played IPL 2016 for Sunrisers Hyderabad and Gujarat Lions respectively    Getty Images
Eoin Morgan and Brendon McCullum played IPL 2016 for Sunrisers Hyderabad and Gujarat Lions respectively Getty Images

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) is likely to witness top international players in their next edition former New Zealand cricketer Brendon McCullum and England limited-over skipper Eion Morgan. They have given their consent to their inclusion in the draft for the second edition. The draft will be held in October during Pakistan Test series against West Indies at UAE. The second edition will be played in February next year. The PSL also stated all five franchises have agreed to increase total player salary cap of $1.2 million per team by a maximum of 9% for the next edition. The decision was arrived in a meeting with franchises on Friday. ALSO READ: ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Eoin Morgan lays down England’s plan of action

PSL chairman Najam Sethi spoke to ESPNcricinfo.com and said, “Brendon McCullum and Eoin Morgan are proven international stars who not only bring a wealth of international cricket experience but also bring invaluable leadership experience to the HBL PSL player roster. While we have announced these two names, there are at least a dozen additional top-level signings that will be revealed in the coming days. It will be interesting to see how teams manage their retention and transfers given such quality additions to the player draft”

A player retention policy was among the outcomes of the meeting on Friday, with teams being allowed to retain up to 16 players from the existing squad, including those did not play a game last season. The PSL further added, “It was decided that the teams may retain up to 16 players from their existing squads. All players who were brought on board by a team, regardless of whether they played, are eligible for retention. The retention window will also provide teams with a chance to renegotiate with existing players and the window closes on September 14, 2016. The transfer window is concurrently open with teams in a position to leverage their draft picks and / or existing squads to find an ideal balance.”

Last year, 310 players, including 138 from Pakistan, were drafted from five categories – Platinum, Diamond, Gold, Silver and Emerging – with the franchises signing international stars like Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen, Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy, among others. Previously, the emerging category had 59 Pakistani players enlisted regardless of their age or playing experience. For the second edition, however, the PSL management has put an age barrier in place for the category. Players in the emerging category will have to be under 23 years of age as of January 1, 2017, and the franchise will have to draft at least one player from its home region. ALSO READ: Sachin Tendulkar only Indian in Brendon McCullum’s all-time XI

The order of the draft has been decided based on the first season results and since Lahore Qalandars who finished last will Hence, Lahore Qalandars who ended last will get the opportunity to select their draft followed by Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators. Defending champions Islamabad United will have the final pick in every round. In another important move, the PCB is in talks to rope in franchises that will buy out national regional teams for a year. The idea is still in a preliminary stage, but the move is a part of the PCB’s plan to make regional cricket independent and self-sustaining.