McCullum, Narine, Umar Akmal exit Lahore Qalandars
Brendon McCullum has left Lahore Qalandars ahead of the fourth edition of the PSL, while Lahore have agreed a double swap with Quetta
Lahore Qalandars will need to appoint a new captain, after Brendon McCullum parted ways with the franchise.
"A big thank you to Lahore Qalandars for the past 2 seasons," McCullum tweeted on Saturday. "Today we have parted ways but I leave with fond memories and friendships. I wish you all the best in the future. To the Rana family, a special thank you. Our friendship will always remain."
Earlier this year, McCullum had offered to "offload" his captaincy in a bid to change the fortunes of the side, which had lost six straight matches last season and finished at the bottom for the third consecutive year.
McCullum moves back into the draft and snapping him up will require franchises to use their Platinum pick. The former New Zealand international was himself signed by Lahore in this manner two years ago for the second season, when finishing bottom in the first year gave them first pick in the draft. He served as captain of the Lahore for both seasons, but failed to turn their fortunes around.
McCullum's departure was just one among a number of high-profile exits for the beleaguered franchise, which is looking to stay off the bottom for the first time in the PSL's history. Sunil Narine and Umar Akmal have been traded by Lahore to Quetta Gladiators in a deal that sees Rahat Ali and former Under-19 captain Hassan Khan move the other way, into the Lahore franchise.
Lahore's chief operating officer Sameer Rana, said: "On behalf of the Lahore Qalandars management and fans, we would like to thank Sunil and Umar for their services to the team. They added tremendous value to the Qalandars and I wish them well on this next chapter in their PSL careers. We are very excited to welcome Rahat Ali and Hassan Khan to the Qalandars family. Rahat showed what he is capable of with the ball in this format with his excellent bowling last year and Hassan has impressed everyone with his determination and calmness on the field."
Quetta owner Nadeem Omar called Narine and Umar "world-class additions to the Gladiators' squad". He was particularly effusive in his praise for the West Indies offspinner, whom he labelled a "magician with the ball and one of the best match-winners in T20 cricket".
The swap deal between Lahore and Quetta also means the former will take Quetta's Platinum pick in the first round, while Quetta get Lahore's Silver pick in the second round.