Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has not had the most encouraging start ahead of the inaugural edition of Lanka Premier League 2020. Shahid Afridi could not catch the scheduled flight to Colombo on Monday, which will force him to miss the first two games of Galle Gladiators. The franchise appointed him as their skipper for the season.
The Galle Gladiators have found themselves significantly depleted as veteran pacer Lasith Malinga pulled out of the tournament due to inadequate preparation. Pakistan keeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed, who will head to New Zealand for international commitments has also made himself unavailable. South Africa’s Colin Ingram is their third casualty as the middle-order batsman chose the Big Bash League over LPL 2020.
Shahid Afridi took to his official Twitter to announce that he missed the flight to Colombo on Monday morning. However, he conceded there was nothing to worry about and will join the franchise soon and is keen to team up with the squad. The former Pakistan captain was part of Multan Sultans in the 2020 edition of Pakistan Super League. The franchise reached the playoffs and Afridi managed 99 runs in nine games and picked up seven wickets in the season.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa likely to lead in Shahid Afridi’s absence:
In the swashbuckling all-rounder’s absence, Sri Lanka all-rounder Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who is the vice-captain of Galle Gladiators could lead in Afridi’s absence for two matches. The Gladiators will get their campaign underway against Jaffna Stallions on Friday in Hambantota. It would be one day after the season opener between Kandy Tuskers and Colombo Kings.