Former Pakistan skipper and limited-overs specialist Shahid Afridi has on Tuesday signed up for Pakistan Super League (PSL) side Karachi Kings for the upcoming third edition.
The star all-rounder had been a part of the Peshawar Zalmi outfit in the second edition where he was a vital cog in the side which went all to the way to claim the trophy in the final at the Gadaffi stadium in Lahore.
The 37-year-old was traded by the two franchises after swapping picks in the gold and silver categories of the PSL player’s draft.
Afridi had already planned to swap teams due to personal reasons for the third edition of the PSL and had made an announcement on Twitter to that effect earlier this March.
The BLOCKBUSTER Trade of the Year!
Karachi Kings clinches Boom Boom Afridi in return for their Gold and Silver pick! ? pic.twitter.com/KF34xhYQ5f
— PakistanSuperLeague (@thePSLt20) October 3, 2017
The maverick had been given the captaincy of the Peshawar side in the inaugural edition of the PSL but had handed over the leadership duties to West Indies’ Darren Sammy for the second season.
Afridi had only just recently scored his maiden T20 ton when he smashed a 42-ball 100 for Hampshire against Derbyshire in the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals.
Karachi Kings’ owner Salman Iqbal was understandably elated at having secured the services of the star-man.
“Shahid Afridi is the biggest name in Pakistan cricket and we are extremely pleased to have him on board,” he said.
Meanwhile, Peshawar Zalmi owner Javed Afridi thanked the all-rounder for his services and wished him the best in his new chapter.
Thank u Zalmi fans for love&support, now time to move on. Thank u Salman Iqbal for the opportunity with Kings https://t.co/zlrqT1w9CS
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) October 3, 2017
“Shahid is a world-class player and the entire Peshawar Zalmi family thanks him for his contributions to our team. He is like a brother and we wish him the very best of luck in this new journey,” the Peshawar owner said.
According to the deal finalised between the two franchises, Peshawar will swap its picks in the gold and silver categories with Karachi who currently have the third pick in both the categories while Peshawar have the fifth.
A sixth franchise – Multan Sultans, will make their maiden bow in the PSL in the third edition making it a six-team affair.
The PSL player’s draft is expected to take place sometime this October though the dates have not been announced as of yet.
A host of international stars have confirmed their participation for various franchises in the third edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
On Saturday, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), announced the inclusion of seven overseas players who will take part in the country’s premier T20 league.
The players who have been confirmed at the moment are Angelo Mathews, Evin Lewis, Imran Tahir, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Johnson, JP Duminy and Rashid Khan.
Started in 2015, the PSL comprises of six franchises and the third edition is expected to start in February 2018 though the schedule for the competition has not been announced yet.
PCB confirm Angelo Mathews, Mitchell Johnson, Chris Lynn, JP Duminy, Evin Lewis, Imran Tahir & Rashid Khan are signed-up for PSL3 #HBLPSL
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) September 30, 2017
— PakistanSuperLeague (@thePSLt20) September 30, 2017
The UAE has staged the previous two editions due to Pakistan’s international isolation, but March’s final between victors Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators was held at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
While the league fixtures were held in Dubai and Sharjah, the final took place in Pakistan under a massive security presence as several internationals including West Indies’ Darren Sammy made themselves available despite security concerns.
This year the PCB expects to hold more than just the final back home in Pakistan with previous chairman Shahryar Khan outlining plans to hold 10 matches of the PSL in their own backyard before he was replaced by Najam Sethi.
— PakistanSuperLeague (@thePSLt20) September 30, 2017
The recently concluded visit of the ICC World XI saw international cricket return in a big way to the nation after a long time and its success could pave the way for more teams and international players agreeing to tour the country in the future.
The PSL had earlier announced the participation of two Chinese national team cricketers for the third edition as part of PCB’s efforts to promote the game in the most populous country in the world.
With the signing of T20 powerhouses like West Indies’ Evin Lewis and Australia’s Chris Lynn, the third edition of the PSL could just be about to get a whole lot more exciting.
In a major boost to cricket in China, two players from the national team have been drafted to play in the third edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), expected to be held predominantly in the UAE in early 2018.
The two countries share a broad strategic partnership and, therefore, it is hardly a surprise that such a move has been worked out.
According to a report by the official Pakistan news agency, APP, the two players from China will be part of the Peshawar Zalmi franchisee.
Zalmi are the defending champions of the PSL after winning the second edition of Pakistan’s Twenty20 extravaganza in Lahore in March.
The report goes on to say that the contracts for the two players will be signed by the head of the team, Javed Afridi, during his visit to Beijing next month.
— Javed Afridi (@JAfridi10) August 21, 2017
Cricket still remains grossly under-funded in China and as such the pace of development of the game has suffered extensively.
In April this year, the Chinese men’s team were bowled out for just 28 runs by Saudi Arabia in a World Cricket League regional qualifier held in Thailand. The Middle East nation won the match by a whopping 390 runs, highlighting the plight of the game in China.
However, a chance for the national team players to play in the PSL alongside international stars can only be a good thing and one hopes that it could kick-start a greater interest about the game back home in asia.
— Global Zalmi (@ZalmiGlobal) August 11, 2017