Shaheen Afridi
Shaheen Afridi. Picture Credit: Reuters

Last Update on: August 14th, 2023 at 06:08 pm

The 23-year-old star fast bowler Shaheen Afridi will become the first Pakistani player to play in the International League T20 (ILT20). Afridi signed a three-year contract deal for Desert Vipers (DV) and will take part in the second edition of the ILT20.

Shaheen Afridi will join the Desert Vipers squad after completing Pakistan‘s tour of Australia which will take place during the New Year. The second season of the UAE’s ILT20 will begin on January 13th.

Azam Khan had signed a deal with the Desert Vipers in the inaugural season of the International League T20 but since the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) did not grant him permission to take part in the T20 league, he failed to become the first Pakistani player to take part in the ILT20.

Under the new chairman, Zaka Ashraf the PCB has relaxed its regulations on allowing players to take part in various other T20 leagues. The decision was taken after many Pakistani players opposed the rules of PCB which stopped them from taking part.

I am excited to join the Desert Vipers: Shaheen Afridi

While announcing his joining to Desert Vipers, Shaheen Afridi said that there are Pakistan cricket fans in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and he hopes that they will come to support him and his team in the upcoming ILT20 league.

“I am excited to join the Desert Vipers. I know there are many Pakistan cricket fans in the UAE and I hope they will support our team in the upcoming ILT20,” the 23-year-old pacer said in a statement.

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The Desert Vipers director of cricket, Tom Moody said that the Pakistani pacer is a world-class player and had an impact on all the teams where he has played.

Moody further said that he will add great value to the Vipers franchise which will help them to move forward.

“Shaheen is a player of world-class calibre who has had a significant impact not only for Pakistan but for every team he’s played for in recent times. He offers a huge amount as an impact pace bowler that has destroyed many, many top-orders and he also boasts terrific leadership skills that will add a huge amount of value to the Desert Vipers moving forward,” Tom Moody said.

The Desert Vipers already have a lethal bowling attack with big names on their squad like Wanindu Hasaranga, Matheesha Pathirana, Tom Curran, and Sheldon Cottrell, and the inclusion of Shaheen Afridi will increase the strength of the squad.