Shahid Afridi has announced, via Twitter, that he is leaving Peshawar Zalmi and is open to playing for another team in the Pakistan Super League. The franchise's owner, Javed Afridi, told ESPNcricinfo that he was "clueless" in the matter and would speak to Afridi about his "surprising" decision.
Won d with 1 team,Time for another.Im announcing my end of service as president&player of PeshawarZalmi Team due to my personal reasons1/2— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) March 24, 2017
My best wishes with Peshawar Zalmi nd as far as my Peshawar fans r concerned I know they are with me wherever i go.— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) March 24, 2017
Incidentally, Afridi had talked about the importance of Peshawar Zalmi to his local region, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, yesterday, during the Emirates Airline Twenty20 Trophy in Dubai. "We have not created the Peshawar Zalmi team to play just a month's cricket in the PSL and then sit at home," Afridi had said. "Our work goes beyond the cricket field and we want to change the lives of the underprivileged in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
"After security operations there, the situation is a lot better in the province, but there are few opportunities or facilities for the youngsters. The Shahid Afridi Foundation works in the health and education sector, but the focus of the Peshawar Zalmi Foundation is towards sports. We want to provide facilities to people who don't have it."
Team owner Javed Afridi said of Afridi's decision: "Like many, I am also surprised after reading his tweets. I have no clue and am not aware about the reason he wrote this. But definitely I would like to speak to him before making any further comment."
Peshawar Zalmi won the PSL title this season, defeating Quetta Gladiators in the final held at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Afridi had missed the final with a finger injury that he picked up during the playoffs in the UAE. In all, in ten matches in PSL 2017, he had scored 177 runs at 25.28 with a strike rate of 173.52, and taken two wickets with an economy rate of 6.75. He had captained the franchise in the inaugural edition of the tournament, before handing over to Darren Sammy this season.
During the group stage of this PSL, Afridi had also announced that he would not be playing international cricket anymore.