What is the PSL draft?
It is a selection process in which five PSL teams will pick and recruit their players for the league, which will be held in the UAE in February 2016. Each team will take turns to select players from a pool of 310, spreading across five different categories. Once a team makes a successful pick, it will have the right to sign a player for a period of one season to a maximum of three seasons.
Why a draft and why not an auction?
The PCB has been keen to steer clear of expensive bidding wars to ensure a level playing ground. The draft process leads to parity and healthy competition besides ensuring financial viability for all stakeholders.
How many players are open for the draft?
A total of 310 players, including 138 from Pakistan, are open to be drafted with 29 slotted in the Platinum category, 39 in Diamond, 60 in Gold, 123 in Silver, and 59 in Emerging.
Who has the first turn and how it goes on further?
A ballot held on December 15 had already decided that Islamabad would be entitled to make the first pick, followed by Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, and Lahore. For the subsequent rounds, the draft has been set in such a manner that each pick carries weight, which culminates in parity.
Each team will pick three players each from Platinum, Diamond and Gold categories. Among these nine picks, a team will have to pick a minimum of four Pakistan and four foreign players. While five players will be selected from the Silver category, two will be picked from the Emerging category. The minimum squad will consist of 16 players and can be pushed to 20 with four supplementary players.
There can be one overseas player and up to three locals allowed in these supplementary picks. "Local players picked up in the supplementary picks may or may not be called up for duty by their respective teams and their contract shall only be enforced from the day of joining the squad at the venue," the PCB said.
The PCB has planned the draft for two days at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, with the rounds for Platinum, Diamond, and Gold categories taking place on December 21. The rounds for the three remaining categories - Silver, Emerging, and Supplementary will be held the following day, on December 22.
Number of rounds
The draft contains 20 rounds and 100 picks in total, including the supplementary 20 picks. The first three rounds have been set for the Platinum category in which 15 picks will be made by five teams who will pick three players each. This will be followed by three rounds each for the Diamond and Gold categories. Then, there will be five rounds held for the Silver category and two for the Emerging category. The Supplementary category will have four rounds.
A team will have seven minutes per pick in each round to submit a player's name for Platinum category; five for Diamond and Gold category, and three for each pick in the Silver, Emerging and Supplementary categories. During the time period, it is up to the franchise to either select the player or trade the pick with another franchise.
In case any team fails to submit their pick in time, their turn will expire. This means that the next team will take its turn to submit its pick. But the team whose time had expired can still submit its pick at another point, which will be revealed with the next team's submission. However, if both teams submit the same player, then the team that did it first will snap up the player. The process will end when it hits the salary cap or maximum number of players per team, including the supplementary picks.
What is trading and how will it work?
Every team will have the option of initiating two trades for the entire draft process with a total cap of $75,000. For instance, Islamabad, who have been entitled to make the first pick, can trade with any subsequent pickers but within the cap with mutual understanding. The process will take place within a certain time period to add to the formality of signing a trade form.
What are the prices of each category?
The total salary cap for a squad of 16 is $985,000 and the total cap for a squad of 20 is $1.1 million. The 310 players are divided in five categories according to their value in international cricket. Platinum, Diamond, Gold, Silver and Emerging players are classified: $140,000, $70,000, $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 respectively. If the player is not available throughout the league, his salary will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.
Who are the icon players?
"There are no designated icon or franchise players to ensure franchise owners can pick their own brand ambassadors," the PCB said. "Five players, including the two Pakistanis, have been given the added role of being brand ambassadors for the PSL and their teams, in lieu of which they will be paid an additional amount aside from match fee. These players include Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Kevin Pietersen, Chris Gayle and Shane Watson."
What is the relegation policy among players?
If any player is unpicked from his respective category, he will be transferred into another category he had already agreed upon. Likewise, all Pakistani non-selected players will be automatically relegated to the next category.
What are the full names of teams?
The names of the teams come from provincial capitals -Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Islamabad. Lahore have been named as Lahore Qalandar, a word derived from the ascetic of the city. Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi (a Pashto word meaning youth), Islamabad United, and Quetta Gladiators are the full names of the other teams.
Who are the head coaches of the all five teams?
Every franchise recruited its own coaching staff with the help of PCB within the allocated budget limit. Lahore hired South African Paddy Upton as their head coach while Peshawar roped in former Pakistan coach Mohammad Akram. Dean Jones was signed up by Islamabad, while Moin Khan and Mickey Arthur were brought in to coach Quetta and Karachi respectively.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson