South Africa news November 29, 2013

Ajmal, Afridi to play South Africa domestic T20


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

  • Dummy4 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...

  • Muthuvel 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

  • hibbatur 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Ali 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 .

  • Dummy4 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

  • Dummy4 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.

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

    Why Sohail Tanvir? He's awful

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