Faf du Plessis is the highest-profile new name drafted in for the playoff stage of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 to be played in Karachi, with the former South Africa captain set to represent the Peshawar Zalmi.
A number of players originally part of the squads of the PSL franchises that made the last four remained unavailable due to international commitments. As a result, the PCB has drafted in multiple fresh names to take the count of foreign players who will arrive in Pakistan, to 21. Out of these, 13 are from England and South Africa, while Tamim Iqbal also remains a notable inclusion, with the former Zalmi opener to pad up for the Lahore Qalandars this time.
Alex Hales was suspected to have contracted Covid-19 during the PSL's original schedule in March this year, something that remained unconfirmed until the tournament was called off. However, it had led to the playoffs being cancelled just an hour before they began, though Hales is set to return to the tournament for the Kings this time. He will be joined by team-mate James Vince, though Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan will be unavailable, with the pair due to take part in England's T20I series in South Africa.
The knockout stage, though, has reverted to the playoffs format, which means four matches will be played instead of three as was decided in March, when the PSL had shortened the format in a bid to conclude it earlier with the Covid-19 pandemic beginning to take hold. That means the Multan Sultans will play the Kings with the winner directly qualifying for the final, with the loser to battle for the second spot in the final against the winner of the Qalandars and Zalmi game.
"I am very excited to join Peshawar Zalmi for the playoff stage games of HBL PSL 2020," du Plessis said. "I have fond memories of playing in Pakistan when I toured with the ICC World XI in 2017 and I am sure this experience, although different due to Covid-19, will be a memorable one as well."
Among the other notable misses will be Kieron Pollard, with West Indies' tour of New Zealand clashing with the PSL. Pollard is the player du Plessis has replaced, while Sherfane Rutherford has slotted into the Kings squad for Jordan.
The playoff games have been scheduled from November 14 to 16, with the final on November 17.