International League T20

ILT20: Shaheen Shah Afridi joins Desert Vipers for three seasons of ILT20

Shaheen Shah Afridi signed Three-Year Deal with Desert Vipers for UAE’s ILT20 Season Two.

Shaheen Shah Afridi is set to make history as the first Pakistani cricketer to participate in the UAE’s ILT20 league, signing up with the Desert Vipers for the upcoming season. This significant move is cemented by a three-year contract, marking a pivotal moment in his cricketing journey.

In a statement, Afridi expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “I am thrilled to join the Desert Vipers. Recognizing the presence of numerous Pakistani cricket enthusiasts in the UAE, I am hopeful they will extend their support to our team during the forthcoming ILT20.”

Scheduled to kick off on January 13, the season aligns perfectly with Afridi’s return from Australia after the New Year’s Test in Sydney.

The Desert Vipers had previously attempted to enlist Azam Khan last year, potentially making him the inaugural Pakistani player in the ILT20. However, due to the PCB not issuing a no-objection certificate, his participation was not realized.

Under the guidance of current chairman Zaka Ashraf, the PCB has eased its stance on players’ involvement in T20 leagues. This shift comes after players expressed discontent with previous restrictions enforced under the administration led by Ramiz Raja. The PCB, during Najam Sethi’s tenure as chairman, had also engaged in discussions with ILT20 to explore opportunities for Pakistan players’ participation.

Enjoy Top 30 wickets of Shaheen Afridi

Tom Moody, Director of Cricket at the Vipers, lauded Afridi’s acquisition, stating, “Shaheen is a world-class player who has left an indelible mark not just for Pakistan but also for every team he’s represented. His presence significantly bolsters our pace attack, renowned for dismantling top orders. Additionally, his leadership qualities are a valuable asset that will undoubtedly enhance the Desert Vipers’ progress.”

Afridi’s addition augments an already formidable bowling lineup featuring the likes of Wanindu Hasaranga, Matheesha Pathirana, Tom Curran, and Sheldon Cottrell.

Having secured several key players following their runner-up finish in the inaugural season, the Vipers have retained the services of captain Colin Munro and top-order batsman Alex Hales. Hales, in fact, emerged as the highest run-scorer in the tournament, further amplifying the Vipers’ prospects for the upcoming season.

15 thoughts on “ILT20: Shaheen Shah Afridi joins Desert Vipers for three seasons of ILT20

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