Wanindu Hasaranga will not be joining Quetta Gladiators this PSL season as Sri Lanka look to manage his workload. Hasaranga was partially available, having been scheduled to play in six games before leaving on March 3, but the franchise confirmed he has been ruled out of the league altogether and they are now looking to find a replacement.
Hasaranga was supposed to join the team at the start of the PSL and after his stint, Afghanistan legspinner Qais Ahmad was slated to take over. But Hasaranga’s absence has forced Gladiators to play Qais in two games, though they remain open to finding a replacement for Hasaranga with seven of their group stages games still remaining.
SLC CEO Ashley de Silva told ESPNcricinfo that Hasaranga “wouldn’t ask” for a No-Objection Certificate, as he had domestic commitments with the National Super League, as well as international series to play in New Zealand. Even though neither SLC nor Hasaranga’s management mentioned it outright, there is also the IPL coming up, which given his success last year and the money he earns at the tournament, is likely to be a priority. Essentially, the issue comes down to workload: the IPL and national duties are an inevitability, and there is significant domestic pressure to play in SLC’s local tournaments, even the four-dayers, leaving the PSL lower down the priority list.
Gladiators came into this season in poor form, having lost six games last season. Over the last three seasons, they have the fewest number of wins (10) of all franchises, having not made it into the play-off since 2020. They were edged out last season on net run-rate (-0.708) by Islamabad United (-0.069). They have already lost two games out of the three they played this season.
Meanwhile, Kusal Mendis – who was signed up to replace Jordan Cox by Lahore Qalandars – is also now unavailable. Mendis is part of Sri Lanka’s Test outfit, and as such has officially been part of Sri Lanka’s red and white-ball preparations for that tour. His not being part of the PSL despite having been picked by a franchise are clear cut – there is a clash with his international commitments.” Qalandars have found a replacement for Mendis in West Indies ODI captain Shai Hope.
This is the second time that Hasaranga has been denied the opportunity to play in a franchise league in the last eight months, after he had to withdraw from his Hundred contract with Manchester Originals at short notice.