Star all-rounder Shahid Afridi is to play for Northamptonshire in the first six rounds of English cricket’s 2015 T20 Blast competition, the Midlands county announced Monday.
One of the most spectacular hitters of a cricket ball the game has know, the 34-year-old Afridi — nicknamed ‘Boom Boom’ for his dynamism with the bat — holds the record for the most sixes in one-day internationals with 342 to his credit.
Renowned for his rapid run-scoring, Afridi – also an effective leg-spinner — has a strike-rate of 116.29 from 389 ODIs and 145.29 from 77 T20 games for Pakistan.
“He doesn’t need a big introduction. He is one of the top one-day cricketers of the last decade,” Northamptonshire coach David Ripley told BBC Radio Northampton.
“I think we were in the right place at the right time to get a bit of dialogue going,” the former Northamptonshire wicketkeeper added.
“It’s a very exciting signing. It’s for the start of the competition so hopefully we can come out of the blocks quickly.
“We might not be able to finance another player further down the line, but we haven’t given up hope on that.”
Afridi, who has also played county cricket for Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Kent and Hampshire, has said he will retire from ODI cricket following this year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which starts next month.
Northamptonshire, who won English county cricket’s T20 title in 2013, hope to have Afridi available in time for their opening match of this season’s competition, away to Durham on May 15. -AFP