Pakistan's limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi says he has accepted an offer to lead one of the provinces in the inaugural edition of the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) later this year.
"It's a good opportunity and I will try to make the most of it," Afridi, 31, told Pakistani daily the News. "There is a comfortable window for us [Pakistan's cricketers] to feature in the league in Sri Lanka. We have a sufficient break from international cricket this summer."
The SLPL comes as a shot in the arm for Pakistan's cricketers who have been ignored by the lucrative IPL since the inaugural edition in 2008. Afridi said that he has signed a three-year contract, worth US$35,000 for the first season of the SLPL, with the amount doubling in 2012. He is expected to be joined in the tournament by Pakistan team-mates Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Akhtar, Abdul Razzaq, Umar Gul and Umar Akmal.
The SLPL will be a seven-team inter-provincial tournament played over approximately 18 days in July-August. The teams will play each other once, with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals. All the games will be played at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo and the winner of the tournament will qualify for the Champions League Twenty20.
Among the other international players who will be taking part are Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle, Shahid Afridi, Daniel Vettori, Daniel Christian, Herschelle Gibbs and Kevin O'Brien.