Star Pakistan all rounder Shahid Afridi has ruled out playing for the English county squad Hampshire during the upcoming Friends Provident Twenty20 championship after being handed over Pakistan Test captaincy.
Afridi was due to join his teammate Abdul Razzaq and possibly Australian fast bowler Brett Lee as foreign stars for the Hampshire in the T20 tournament, but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appointed him as the captain for the both upcoming Test and one-day assignments following which he would be unable to play in the English county league.
“The chance to be captain for Asia Cup and of tour of England in summer was too big an opportunity for me to turn down. I am regretful that I am unable to take up my role at Hampshire, but look forward to seeing my compatriot Razzaq performing well for the Royals and the team doing well. I will be looking out for Hampshire’s results over the summer,” The Daily Times quoted Afridi, as saying.
Hampshire’s team manager Giles White, who now has to look for Afridi’s replacement, said he and other players of the team were disappointed at Afridi’s decision, but added that they understand that national duty was more important for any player.
“We are disappointed Shahid won’t be a part of team for this season. A player of his class and influence will definitely be missed. We fully understand his decision and we still expect to challenge strongly for this year’s competition,” White said.
“We wish Afridi all the very best in his Pakistan commitments and look forward to seeing him at Rose Bowl in September when England play Pakistan,” he added. (ANI)