County news February 24, 2016

Afridi joins Hampshire for full T20 Blast

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Season-long Afridi deal a boost for Hampshire

Hampshire have pulled off a significant signing by securing Shahid Afridi for the full duration of the NatWest T20 Blast.

He previously played for the club in 2011 when Hampshire reached the semi-finals where Afridi hit 80 off 42 balls against Somerset. He will join the South African allrounder, Ryan McLaren, at the Ageas Bowl.

Afridi, who has revealed he is facing pressure not to retire from international T20s, will arrive for the beginning of Hampshire's campaign in May and, unlike many other start names in the tournament, will not take his leave having not secured a Caribbean Premier League deal and, for now at least, not having international commitments.

Giles White, Hampshire's director of cricket, said: "This year it has been a challenge to get the top players over for significant periods of the Blast so we are delighted that he is available for the entire tournament. Shahid made a huge impression last time he was with us and his return is a major boost ahead of our T20 campaign."

The Blast has attracted a strong collection of leading players for the 2016 season - including Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum - but the elongated nature of the tournament, which is played throughout the season, largely on Friday nights, from mid-May until late July followed by the knockouts later in August, means players often cannot stay for the duration.

This is set to be the last season with the Blast in its current format. From 2017 it is expected to switch to a two division structure, rather than regional groups, with promotion and relegation. The 2016 tournament would, therefore, decide who starts in Division One - the eight quarter-finalists plus the next-highest finishing side in the group stages.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • honoured on February 26, 2016, 3:15 GMT

    you are making a big mistake Hampshire, end of the tournament you will regret for signing Afridi.

  • ammar7may on February 25, 2016, 19:16 GMT

    A legend! World's best entertainer in cricket! Wish him pleasing his fans all over the world for ever.

  • DataQue on February 25, 2016, 10:28 GMT

    Awesome!!!! Afridi is the Man!!!

  •   Kabir Awadhi on February 24, 2016, 21:45 GMT

    AFRIDIANS millions/billions worldwide fans like me will stop view cricket when afridi retires

  • alikaramatbukhari on February 24, 2016, 16:32 GMT

    @S.HAMID he plays in t20 blast almost every year. he performed well there last year, that is why they have signed him again. he also have his highest score of 80 in t20s while paying for Hampshire.

  • ABDVfan on February 24, 2016, 16:10 GMT

    Those who think afridi is not a good signing 4 hampshire dont noe abt cricket , surely the hampshire team management noes better wat they r doing , he z a top t20 spin bowker with lots of xperience and a strong hitter at no 6-7

  • Cricinfouser on February 24, 2016, 13:56 GMT

    What was Hampshire thinking!

  • s.hamid on February 24, 2016, 13:03 GMT

    he will fail miserably as he has in all the leagues that he played in. feel sorry for Hampshire

  • CodandChips on February 24, 2016, 11:40 GMT

    (continued)

    I know that sucessful teams in English T20 have often had excellent spin attacks, such as Lancashire with the likes of Parry, Keedy, Lilley, us with the likes of Briggs, Dawson, Tahir, Afridi. So maybe we're going to play 3 spinners, as we did in 2011 when we got to finals day, although we seemed reluctant to do so at times last season with Briggs, Crane and Dawson. The team seems light on middle order batting and seam bowling though. Arafat was just too vital last year to not be replaced, but hopefully Topley will fill that role when not injured or playing for England.

    Perhaps: 1. Carberry 2.Vince 3.Adams 4. Wheater 5. Ervine 6. Dawson 7. Mclaren 8. Afridi 9. Wood 10. Topley 11. Crane

  • WalidNisar on February 24, 2016, 11:31 GMT

    Shahid Afridi is the biggest name in the T20 format.A huge boost for Hamsphire.Boom Boom is Back !!!

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