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Quetta Gladiators clash with Peshawar Zalmi in first eliminator today

LAHORE: Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfraz Ahmed on Monday announced the replacements for Shane Watson and Kevin Pietersen, as both star players have refused to visit Pakistan to participate in the remaining fixtures of the ongoing PSL season. Former Sri Lankan captain Thisara Perera and Bangladesh’s all-rounder Mahmudullah – who made a match-winning 43 off 18 balls in a thrilling game against Sri Lanka last week – will be part of the Gladiators squad for Tuesday’s (today) eliminator against Peshawar Zalmi to be played here at Gaddafi Stadium, the skipper announced. Both Perera and Mahmudullah became available after the hyped and controversial Nidahas Trophy ended on Sunday with a last ball six by India’s Dinesh Karthik.

Quetta, who faced a major exodus during last year’s final in Lahore when all their first-choice overseas players refused to play in Lahore, will however have the services of South African left-hander Rilee Rossouw who has agreed to participate in Tuesday’s encounter after receiving a briefing
from Reg Dickason, the independent security consultant whom the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had engaged to oversee security-related arrangements in Lahore and Karachi.

On Sunday, Gladiators had officially announced that their leading run-getter in the PSL Watson, and paceman Ben Laughlin would not be travelling to Pakistan for the play-offs. Watson, the 36-year-old Australian all-rounder, and Laughlin joined former England captain Pietersen and the current England limited-overs opener Jason Roy who had earlier pulled out of the Pakistan leg. Quetta will surely miss these stars when they faces defending champions Peshawar today.

Perera has been granted special permission to play for Sarfraz -led side as he was originally picked by Multan Sultans but did not play a single match for the newest franchise. Moreover, Quetta have signed up West Indies opener Johnson Charles and Tom-Kohler Cadmore, the 23-year-old right-handed batsman who plays for English county team Yorkshire. On the other hand, Peshawar will be at full-strength for the Quetta clash as all their foreign players barring Dwayne Smith have reached Pakistan.

Match starts at 07:00 PM

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