Hampshire sign Shahid Afridi for Blast campaign

24 Feb 2016 09:23

Hampshire have announced the return of Pakistan international Shahid Afridi to the Ageas Bowl for this year's NatWest T20 Blast.

The big-hitting all-rounder, who turns 36 next week and will captain his country in the forthcoming ICC World T20, will be available for the entirety of the tournament.

Afridi played for Northamptonshire last year and characteristically saved his best performance of the competition for the final, taking three for 14 with his legbreaks, as the Steelbacks came up just short against Lancashire.

But Afridi, who has also played for Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Kent, will this year return to the south coast county, who he played for in 2011, taking 17 wickets in 10 matches and thumping 80 off 42 balls in the semi-final defeat to Somerset.

He said: "I am very pleased to be returning to Hampshire, I really enjoyed my previous spells there and I'm looking forward to spending some time on the beautiful south coast and playing some serious cricket in front of the Hampshire fans at the Ageas Bowl."

Afridi, who has played 27 Tests, 398 one-dayers and 90 T20s for Pakistan, has for much of the last 12 months played exclusively in the shortest format, for which he holds the record for most wickets.

Hampshire director of cricket Giles White said: "This year it has been a challenge to get the top players over for significant periods of the Blast so we are delighted that he is available for the entire tournament.

"Shahid made a huge impression last time he was with us and his return is a major boost ahead of our T20 campaign."