Shahid Afridi and local superstar Sandeep Lamichhane will reunite as team-mates in the Everest Premier League, Nepal's domestic T20 tournament. Legspinner Lamichhane made his international T20 debut alongside the legendary Afridi when they were part of an ICC World XI team that took on world champions West Indies in a hurricane relief exhibition match at Lord's. The duo will represent Kathmandu Kings XI in the competition that will run from September 25 to October 9 at Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground in Kirtipur.
"Welcome on board with Kathmandu Kings XI," Lamichhane told Afridi in a video message at the launch of the team's campaign. "All the boys are really excited to see you here on the field. And I personally know you are going to have a great time during your visit to Nepal. Can't wait to see you joining the team."
Lamichhane was on his way back to London to take part in the Hundred and the Blast but had to return to Nepal because of visa issues despite having successfully arrived and nearing the completion of his quarantine.
Lamichhane and Afridi have played against each other in the past in the Afghanistan Premier League and Pakistan Super League.
"This will be my first visit to Kathmandu," Afridi said. "I am very excited and looking forward to visiting."
The first question Afridi was asked by the press was how many sixes he was going to hit. Afridi laughed and said, "That depends on the bowling on the day, but I will try my level best to entertain the people of Nepal."
Covid-19 came at the worst possible time last year for cricket in Nepal, just as they were gearing up to see their biggest signing yet, Chris Gayle. Pokhra Rhinos had managed to secure the services of Gayle last year, but the tournament didn't go ahead because of the Covid-19 outbreak.