Hamontota: Pakistan cricket superstar Shahid Afridi will replace Sarfraz Ahmed in the Sri Lankan Premier League this season as the captain of Gail Gladiators, the team’s media group announced on Saturday.
According to Geo News, the former Pakistan captain will lead the team in the first edition of the league, which will be played in Hambantota, Sri Lanka from November 26 to December 16. Bhanuka Rajapaksa, a local T20 star, will help as the vice-captain of the tournament.
Afridi replaces Ahmed, who was initially to lead the team. The wicketkeeper-batsmen withdrew from the tournament to join the Pakistan team’s series against New Zealand.
Nadeem Omar, owner of Gal Gladiators, was happy with the team’s decision to appoint the 40-year-old as the new captain. “Afridi is a world superstar and a great leader so he is the best choice to lead the Gail Gladiators in the LPL,” he said. “I am confident that Afridi’s experience will be great for all our foreign players and local Sri Lankan boys. I am sure they will help us fight for the honor and win it.
Pakistan’s young batsman Ahsan Ali has replaced Ahmed as the batsman, while West Indian batsman Chadwick Walton has replaced South African Colin Ingram, who has gone to play in the Big Bash.
On Friday, Azam Khan, Ahsan Ali, Chadak Walton and Muhammad Amir arrived in Sri Lanka, all representing the Gladiators. Sister franchise of Pakistan Super League franchise Quetta Gladiators owned by Nadeem Omar.
Star all-rounder Shahid Afridi and team mentor Wasim Akram will leave for the island in a few days. Players and officials will have to face a mandatory shortage before being allowed in the five-team tournament, which has suffered several delays.