South Africa news November 29, 2013

Ajmal, Afridi to play South Africa domestic T20

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In yet another strengthening of the ties between South Africa and Pakistan, Saeed Ajmal has signed with Titans and Shahid Afridi with Knights for the upcoming domestic 20-overs competition.* ESPNcricnfo understands Sohail Tanvir will be part of the Lions squad as well, while two other players are in negotiation to confirm deals.

The signings are believed to be part of the growing friendship between the two countries, which have always enjoyed good relations but are seeking to further develop that bond. Pakistan agreed to tour South Africa at short notice after a curtailed India visit left Cape Town without an ODI all summer and venues such as Bloemfontein and East London with no international cricket at all. Two of the five matches Pakistan agreed to play were hosted at Newlands to make up for India's absence, although CSA did not make up the money lost.

When Pakistan's visit was announced, CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat indicated the relationship between the two countries would expand to give Pakistan's players, who do not participate in the IPL, an opportunity to play in the 20-overs competition.

That mutually beneficial idea appears to have been actioned already, with the possibility of five Pakistan players participating in South Africa this summer. "Pakistan players are finding opportunities to earn their money in leagues abroad vastly reduced due to politics and other outside influences, and therefore this opportunity to play in South Africa is greatly appreciated by the players," Ummran Khan, the players' agent said.

While Ajmal and Afridi will be new to the South African domestic scene, Tanvir has already spent two seasons with Lions. In addition to providing international experience, he has been credited with mentoring their younger crop of quicks, which includes Chris Morris and Hardus Viljoen. Tanvir also played for Lions during this year's Champions League T20.

Should all five Pakistan signings materialise, that will take the total number of foreign players in the 20-overs competition to eight. West Indies' Sunil Narine has been contracted to Dolphins, while his international team-mate Chris Gayle is due to join England's Graham Onions at Dolphins. Although Gayle is currently out of action with a hamstring tear, the Durban-based team expect him to be fit for the tournament.

The domestic 20-overs competition will be played from January 5, when it will open with a triple-header at Newlands as part of the festival of cricket that has been organised to replace the New Year's Test. It will run until February 9. Pakistan's players who feature for the national team will not be available for the full window, because it clashes with their series against Sri Lanka which is on till January 20.

*15.00GMT, November 29: This article was updated after confirmation of the players' signing came in

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 4, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    Franklyn William Barker you also made mistake.Afridi also played few Ist class matches for Griqualand West.He scored hundred as well.. Good for our players Wish to see Hafeez & Umar Akmal as well...

  • Vilander on December 2, 2013, 20:50 GMT

    Good now pak players can play there in SA, and stop worrying about IPL. Good for SA too with their apparent dislike for India they can grow friendly with pakistan who are a good cricketing country with similar dislike for India. Haroon lograt is doing good for SA

  • keptalittlelow on December 2, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    Its gracious of South Africans to set up these signings to bolster good relations with Pakistan. However Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi are in the twilight zone of their careers, if they sign some young Pak players it would benefit more.

  • on December 2, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    I totally agree with Sajid Ali. I also would like to see Indian & Pakistani players are playing for same teams. Watching our Star players with Rival team members may change the thinking of our nations as well.

  • on December 1, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    Firdose you made a mistake, Afridi is not new to SA domestic scene.He previously played limited overs cricket for Griqualand West, hence the decision to play for the Knights as he is familiar with the Free State area.

  • on December 1, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    I think Sammy K said some important things,SA clubs can get good players from BD and also cheaply,players like Nasir Hussain are young guns and then there are also Tamim,Shakib,Shohag Gazi,Rubel hussain etc.So please SA consider also us,as there will be the t20 world cup in our soil,and maybe u send your players to see our condition and help us see your's .I mean there can be a friendship also between BD and SA.I can understand it's not easy to manage everything,so I keep wishing.

  • roook on December 1, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    I think it will be more useful if our young batsman are given opportunities like. Nasir Jamshad, shan masood, ahmed shezad, sharjeel khan, harris sohail. In fact it will be more useful if our domestics teams are allowed to perform in SA. I see no point in fatiguing saeed Ajmal, Hafeez whihch are playing non-stop cricket and what if they are injured .

  • on December 1, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    Umar Akmal Muhammad Hafeez and Ajmal if they sign the deal will not be available for most of the matches boz they will b busy playing vs SRI

    and i think they are hot cakes every one wants to have the in their team

    other probable r Malik Razaq n Azhar

  • on December 1, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    For those who are unaware of this fact, please note that Pakistani players have always been playing in the Bangladesh domestic League. Many have regained form while playing there and been called back to the National side. Though India kicked out the Pakistanis from the IPL, they have always been playing in the Dhaka League for the various teams. Its good for us too as the local boys get to play with better players and improve their own games. Pakistanis are so thrilled that SA has welcomed 3 of their players. On any given day in Dhaka, u will find about 5 or 6 Pakistani players playing for the various Dhaka teams. We also hired Saqlain Mushtaq as the bowling (Spin) coach for the National side. If anyone has been accomodating Pakistani players, giving them the opportunity to earn thousands of U.S. dollars, its Bangladesh.

  • CodandChips on November 30, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Why Sohail Tanvir? He's awful

  • on December 4, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    Franklyn William Barker you also made mistake.Afridi also played few Ist class matches for Griqualand West.He scored hundred as well.. Good for our players Wish to see Hafeez & Umar Akmal as well...

  • Vilander on December 2, 2013, 20:50 GMT

    Good now pak players can play there in SA, and stop worrying about IPL. Good for SA too with their apparent dislike for India they can grow friendly with pakistan who are a good cricketing country with similar dislike for India. Haroon lograt is doing good for SA

  • keptalittlelow on December 2, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    Its gracious of South Africans to set up these signings to bolster good relations with Pakistan. However Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi are in the twilight zone of their careers, if they sign some young Pak players it would benefit more.

  • on December 2, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    I totally agree with Sajid Ali. I also would like to see Indian & Pakistani players are playing for same teams. Watching our Star players with Rival team members may change the thinking of our nations as well.

  • on December 1, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    Firdose you made a mistake, Afridi is not new to SA domestic scene.He previously played limited overs cricket for Griqualand West, hence the decision to play for the Knights as he is familiar with the Free State area.

  • on December 1, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    I think Sammy K said some important things,SA clubs can get good players from BD and also cheaply,players like Nasir Hussain are young guns and then there are also Tamim,Shakib,Shohag Gazi,Rubel hussain etc.So please SA consider also us,as there will be the t20 world cup in our soil,and maybe u send your players to see our condition and help us see your's .I mean there can be a friendship also between BD and SA.I can understand it's not easy to manage everything,so I keep wishing.

  • roook on December 1, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    I think it will be more useful if our young batsman are given opportunities like. Nasir Jamshad, shan masood, ahmed shezad, sharjeel khan, harris sohail. In fact it will be more useful if our domestics teams are allowed to perform in SA. I see no point in fatiguing saeed Ajmal, Hafeez whihch are playing non-stop cricket and what if they are injured .

  • on December 1, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    Umar Akmal Muhammad Hafeez and Ajmal if they sign the deal will not be available for most of the matches boz they will b busy playing vs SRI

    and i think they are hot cakes every one wants to have the in their team

    other probable r Malik Razaq n Azhar

  • on December 1, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    For those who are unaware of this fact, please note that Pakistani players have always been playing in the Bangladesh domestic League. Many have regained form while playing there and been called back to the National side. Though India kicked out the Pakistanis from the IPL, they have always been playing in the Dhaka League for the various teams. Its good for us too as the local boys get to play with better players and improve their own games. Pakistanis are so thrilled that SA has welcomed 3 of their players. On any given day in Dhaka, u will find about 5 or 6 Pakistani players playing for the various Dhaka teams. We also hired Saqlain Mushtaq as the bowling (Spin) coach for the National side. If anyone has been accomodating Pakistani players, giving them the opportunity to earn thousands of U.S. dollars, its Bangladesh.

  • CodandChips on November 30, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Why Sohail Tanvir? He's awful

  • on November 30, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    excellent move by csa nd pcb.i think csa should have signed some pakistani batsmen like hafeez so he can learn how to play styen.being a pakistani I also wud like to see some indian players playing with pakistani players.SA is amazing team to watch.hats off to devillers smith styen amla...great game

  • on November 30, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    Great news. After the Indians kicking out Pakistan from IPL, we needed such interest in our players.

  • on November 30, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    Wish Indians play these leagues too as this will only help them learn to play on bouncy seaming tracks like all westerners are learning to play in Indian conditions in IPL

  • on November 30, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    I wish South Africa would look to Bangladesh sometimes. We can play anyone in the world in the shorter format. We have beaten SA, India .... and others in the one day format. The opportunity would be great for nurturing this young side. We have potential. But we get little opportunity to play with the big boys. Come on Mr. Haroon. Call upon us too, sometimes.

  • Josh333 on November 30, 2013, 5:25 GMT

    This is what the spirit of cricket is about. Well done to both Pakistan & SA for a hard fought series and now the benefits of the SA t20 will give exposure to Pak

  • on November 30, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    some new players from Pakistan should play in SA domestic. Playing our trump card players in their local league will only benefit them.

  • cric_freakNo2 on November 30, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    Hafeez if u want to join SA domestic t20 team, plz join the steyn's team, so that u dont get bullied in first class matches also :P

  • Htc-Android on November 30, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    @mazdonal. I disagree with your comment about Murali. Even in his last test match against India, he took 8 wickets. He may have gone for runs in one or two games. But that happens to every other bower.

  • on November 30, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    the other player might be sohaib maqsood....

  • Albert_cambell on November 30, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    I am glad that Our youngsters will be facing two world class spinners like Ajmal and Afridi. This will give some good exposure to our youngsters against quality spin bowling.Our youngsters should be proud to face someone at the caliber of Ajmal. It would be great if CSA can sign Murali as well.

  • on November 30, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    Although it is a testament to the abilities of both these spinners that they have been selected but actually an ulterior motive of the South African cricket authorities could be to study them closely and give their local players and system maximum exposure to learn and combat against the guiles of these 2 craftsmen. But all said and done, it will be overall for cricket and the players.

  • aks1987 on November 30, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    I believe the other 2 players to be signed would be either Misbah and Ahmed Shehzad/Hafeez?

  • mazdonal on November 30, 2013, 2:59 GMT

    mzm149 has an interesting point that maybe if a few batsmen had also come in they would have worked out how to make runs on lively pitches. It would be a good opportunrity for Afridi at least to learn how to connect with the ball instead of swinging and missing so many times as we have seen nowadays. He can also hone his bowling skills and revive his googly.

    As for stark62's comment that Ajmal should keep his cards close to his chest and not allow others to sneak a look into his mysteries, it is a forgone conclusion that batsmen will eventually work him out. It has happened even to a bowler of the stature of Muralidharan. Towards the end of his career he was thrashed mercillesly. Same with Ajantha Mendis. Sunil Narine, who is absolutely a successor of his great countryman, Sonny Ramadhin, still holds his mystique.

    Ajmal should strive to deveolp more weapons like Rangana Herath is doing.

  • Cricket_Only on November 30, 2013, 1:19 GMT

    Thank You South Africa. A fiend in need is a friend indeed. It is not the money we care about but is the exposure our boys will get.

  • on November 30, 2013, 1:11 GMT

    i feel sorry for the knights,,, u guys gotta bear afridi , if possible plz dont send him back to pak eva ,

  • on November 29, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    Umar Akmal & Ahmed Shahzad should be two others from Pakistan and it will bring full season because they both will not play tests for Pakistan against Srilanka during home series at UAE.

  • on November 29, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    South Africa, we are greatfull

  • Fineline on November 29, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    Good to see PCB maintaining and developing good relations with CSA.

  • St00rt on November 29, 2013, 20:40 GMT

    I was under the impression that Sunil Narine had signed for the Cobras. Can someone confirm this?

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on November 29, 2013, 20:11 GMT

    Afridi and Ajmal are in top 10 in ICC bowlers rankings in T20s. Hafeez is also 2 places above Afridi in T20 bowlers ranking I think two other players will be Hafeez and Umar Akmal or maybe Shoaib Malik. Hope they'll telecast this on television :)

  • Adnan-Ahmed on November 29, 2013, 20:08 GMT

    Very heartwarming to see the response from South African cricket after politics and God knows what other influences have kept Pakistani players out of the IPL.

    What is most disappointing and shameful is that there has not been a bigger outcry about this by the general sports media & former and current players. I guess with the kind of money IPL floats out everyone just turns a blind eye to the injustice taking place.

  • on November 29, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    That's all fine, but how can the be termed a mutual relationship if only the two unplayable bowlers are signed, which surely will not help Pakistans cause. What about the batsmen who can pick up from this experience ?

  • on November 29, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    great for pakistani players that they will earn some extra money while playing in SA. SA after dumped by India are now helping Indian rival Pakistan. Finally after 6 years a good sign for Pakistan in international cricket.

    Our players are T2020 specialist and past world champs and they know how to play and win T2020 matches single handed. Afridi. Ajmal, Umer Akmal, Umer Gull are some of the best players in history of T2020 cricket.

    Thanks SA for offering Pakistani players to increase their international cricket experience when BCCI is just not helping us at any point.

  • on November 29, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    Send young batsmen. Also to England and Australia.

  • Zahidsaltin on November 29, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    I would have rather asked the south africans to accomodate us for a A-team tour. It doesn't help pakistan cricket much to have Sohail Tanveer or Afridi contracted to some T20 club there but rather have our youngesters like Haris Sohail, Sami Aslam, Raza Hassan and Usman Qadir playing on their wickets against a quality A-team. It could have been in both the countries' interest.

  • on November 29, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    interesting bit in the article is:

    Tanvir has already spent two seasons with Lions. In addition to providing international experience, he has been credited with mentoring their younger crop of quicks, which includes Chris Morris and Hardus Viljoen.

  • Protea.Titan on November 29, 2013, 17:45 GMT

    Excellent news, for once i'll be cheering Ajmal on instead of hoping, in vain most of the time, that the batsmen would just smack him out of the park. Go Titans. Marchant and Saeed at opposite ends is a mouthwatering prospect.

  • Stark62 on November 29, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    I hate it when domestic T20 sides outside of Pak sign Ajmal because I don't want him to lose his mystery and deception!!

  • Cric_fever_forever on November 29, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    excellent news hope fast bowlers and few batsmen also join in the. im already liking this tie hope it grows more. by the way can somebody give fulll details of the teams like which state it belongs who other interntional player are in it the full name of teams etc etc. i just hope it get televised in our part. best of luck

  • mzm149 on November 29, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    Pakistani batsmen should also get a chance to play South African domestic t20. Our batting is weak. By playing on fast pitches against good pace bowlers, our batsmen will get good practice.

  • on November 29, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    Pakistan should try to send few young batsmen too so they could gain experience of playing on SA pitches.

  • wrenx on November 29, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    Why hasn't anyone signed up Misbah? He doesn't play international T20 any more, but has been excellent in all the domestic competitions he's played, including the Caribbean Premier League

  • sevugapandian on November 29, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    Good to see, Ajmal is excellent magic bowler, he can execute very well in all type of grounds, as of now no one in the world is similar bowling action than him.Really proud of our neighbor country spinner is top among all.

  • Cricket_Man on November 29, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    Thanks South Africa for letting our players participate in your T20 competition. Hopefully players like Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad also get a chance to show their talent in the SA domestic T20 competition as all three of them have performed reasonably well against South Africa and are best suited for T20 cricket.

  • on November 29, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    hafeez shudnt be signed not worth it but as a bowler he can damage these franchises batsmen

  • on November 29, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    Ajmal might not be able to play, he will be busy in Test series vs Sri Lanka.

  • on November 29, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    PCB should deal with Cricket South Africa that we will sent after youngsters like Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Amin, Hammad Azam, Bilawal Bhatti, Raza Hasan, Haris Sohail, Sharjeel Khan, Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Umar Waheed, etc. that will help them in future.

  • on November 29, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    that's a good to include the international player to improve the team performance

  • SaqibYatoo on November 29, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    that is nice, hope they sign in junior akmal.

  • syedmnaqvi on November 29, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    great news. what happened to our batsmen? They need to prepare on hard pitches.

  • on November 29, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    The two other players would most probably be Umar Akmal and Muhammad Hafeez.

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  • on November 29, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    The two other players would most probably be Umar Akmal and Muhammad Hafeez.

  • syedmnaqvi on November 29, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    great news. what happened to our batsmen? They need to prepare on hard pitches.

  • SaqibYatoo on November 29, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    that is nice, hope they sign in junior akmal.

  • on November 29, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    that's a good to include the international player to improve the team performance

  • on November 29, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    PCB should deal with Cricket South Africa that we will sent after youngsters like Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Amin, Hammad Azam, Bilawal Bhatti, Raza Hasan, Haris Sohail, Sharjeel Khan, Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Umar Waheed, etc. that will help them in future.

  • on November 29, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    Ajmal might not be able to play, he will be busy in Test series vs Sri Lanka.

  • on November 29, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    hafeez shudnt be signed not worth it but as a bowler he can damage these franchises batsmen

  • Cricket_Man on November 29, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    Thanks South Africa for letting our players participate in your T20 competition. Hopefully players like Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad also get a chance to show their talent in the SA domestic T20 competition as all three of them have performed reasonably well against South Africa and are best suited for T20 cricket.

  • sevugapandian on November 29, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    Good to see, Ajmal is excellent magic bowler, he can execute very well in all type of grounds, as of now no one in the world is similar bowling action than him.Really proud of our neighbor country spinner is top among all.

  • wrenx on November 29, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    Why hasn't anyone signed up Misbah? He doesn't play international T20 any more, but has been excellent in all the domestic competitions he's played, including the Caribbean Premier League