Shahid Afridi returns to Hampshire for Natwest T20 Blast 2017

Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi back at Hampshire

Pakistan's Shahid Afridi back at HampshirePakistan cricketing legend Shahid Afridi will be turning out for Hampshire this season of the NatWest T20 Blast.

Afridi, who had featured for the Hampshire side even last year in the T20 Blast, has been signed up yet again despite a rather weak campaign both from him personally and from his side. Hampshire, who have won the English T20 competition twice, had begun the season as one of the favourites to go the distance but were left with a measly second-last spot on the points table.

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The all-rounder himself ended with 191 runs to his name last season and picked up nine wickets from the 11 games he turned out for Hampshire. Incidentally, Afridi had also turned out for Hampshire in the 2011 season when he had helped the side make it to the finals day in that year.

What they will now hope is for Afridi to rediscover his bowling touch that has seen him pick up plenty of wickets at the domestic and international level. They will want the Afridi of 2011 to guide them to glory rather than the one that struggled to pick up wickets last year.

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Afridi is coming off a Pakistan Super League campaign for the Peshawar Zalmis in which he had a decent time with the bat but struggled to pick up wickets with the ball on surfaces which were conducive to spin bowling. However, he was found to be an economical option.

The Pakistani all-rounder decided to shift out of the Zalmis at the end of the second season of the PSL and has joined the Karachi Kings not only as an all-rounder but also as the President of the team.

Director of cricket, Giles White welcomed the signing and said Afridi added a lot of value to the side with his reputation of being a hard-hitting all-rounder in the team.

He added:

He’s come off the back of a very good Pakistani Super League, certainly with the bat, which bodes well. Obviously with the ball he’s shown his quality over the years and hopefully he remains the high-quality all-rounder that we expect.

“He forms a very good partnership with [Liam] Dawson and being an all-rounder gives us the option of playing an extra bowler – maybe a [Mason] Crane as a trio of spinners.”

The T20 Blast kick-starts on July 7. Glamorgan are going to be Hampshire’s first opponent in the tournament.

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