LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday released a list of players retained by Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchises for the third season after the deadline to trade and release players expired. Karachi Kings have released West Indies powerhouse Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard as well as Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara, who captained the side last year and surprised everyone with his performance in the recently held Natwest T20 Blast despite having retired from international cricket. Another former captain of the team, Shoaib Malik, was also released by the franchise. Shahid Afridi, who officially joined the Kings last week, is expected to captain the side in the third edition of PSL. Quettta Gladiators have released opening batsman Ahmad Shahzad, Umar Gul and Luke Wright. Lahore Qalandars, who ended in the last place in season two of PSL, have released Jason Roy and Azhar Ali. Grant Elliott and Sohail Tanvir will also not appear for Qalandars in PSL’s third edition. Tamim Iqbal, Marlon Samuels and David Malan are among those released by Peshawar Zalmi. Eoin Morgan and pacer Junaid Khan have also been released by them. Islamabad United have let go of Shane Watson, Brad Hayden, Sam Billings and Mohammad Irfan. An official of the PSL franchise said that it wasn’t an easy decision for them to release players like Watson and Billings. “We couldn’t keep Watson or Billings because of retention rules. In an ideal world we would have kept them,” he added. All released players will now be eligible for selection by the Multan Sultans, who will make their first appearance in the league in 2018. They will submit their picks on October 10. Players who go un-selected at the expansion draft will join fresh entrants to this year’s player roster for the main draft. The teams were required to retain nine players each. Retentions: Lahore Qalandars: Sunil Narine (Platinum) Umar Akmal (Platinum) Brendon McCullum (Diamond & Mentor) Fakhar Zaman (Diamond) Yasir Shah (Gold) Sohail Khan (Gold) Cameron Delport (Silver) Aamir Yamin (Silver) Bilawal Bhatti (Silver) Islamabad United: Andre Russell (Platinum) Misbah ul Haq (Platinum) Samuel Badree (Diamond) Mohammad Sami (Diamond) Rumman Raees (Gold, Ambassador) Shadab Khan (Gold) Iftikhar Ahmed (Silver) Amad Butt (Silver) Asif Ali (Silver) Karachi Kings: Shahid Afridi (Platinum) Mohammad Amir (Platinum) Imad Wasim (Diamond) Babar Azam (Diamond) Mohammad Rizwan (Gold) Ravi Bopara (Gold) Usman Shinwari (Silver) Usama Mir (Silver) Khurram Manzoor (Silver) Quetta Gladiators: Sarfraz Ahmed (Platinum) Kevin Pietersen (Platinum) Rilee Rossouw (Diamond) Mahmudullah Riyad (Diamond) Asad Shafiq (Gold) Mohammad Nawaz (Gold) Anwar Ali (Silver) Mir Hamza (Silver) Umer Amin (Silver) Peshawar Zalmi: Mohammad Hafeez (Platinum) Wahab Riaz (Platinum) Shakib al Hasan (Diamond) Kamran Akmal (Diamond) Darren Sammy (Gold, Player Coach) Hasan Ali (Gold) Haris Sohail (Silver) Chris Jordan (Silver) Mohammad Asghar (Silver). Published in Daily Times, October 6th 2017.