In a surprise move, Islamabad United have traded in-form batter, Iftikhar Ahmed, for wicketkeeper-batsman Azam Khan with Quetta Gladiators for the seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
“We thank Iftikhar Ahmed for his wonderful time at #ISLU. Unfortunately, we are unable to retain him because of category distributions. We wish him the best of luck at Quetta Gladiators,” Islamabad United wrote on its official Twitter handle.
The franchise also welcomed Azam's inclusion in the squad.
This marks Quetta’s third trade ahead of the PSL 2022 draft. In its previous two moves, they had traded Shahid Afridi and James Vince from Multan Sultans. In turn, Multan will get a couple of extra picks in the Diamond and Silver categories in PSL 2022 draft.
Islamabad United are hopeful that the inclusion of Azam Khan will strengthen their batting as they were missing a hard-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman in their lineup after Luke Ronchi hanged his gloves. Although Rohail Nazir has been quite good behind the stumps, but he does not have the x-factor Azam Khan does.
Quetta Gladiators head coach, and Azam’s father, Moin Khan had earlier hinted that the franchise would be willing to let go of Azam if any other franchise offers him a permanent wicket-keeping slot.
In return, Quetta acquired the services of Iftikhar Ahmed who will bring much-needed experience and stability to their fragile middle-order.
Quetta will be hoping that these three players can turn around their fortunes and help them qualify for the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.