No longer a Sultan, Shahid Afridi becomes a Gladiator for his farewell PSL season

Published December 9, 2021
This file photo shows Shahid Afridi celebrating after taking a wicket during a match against Bangladesh during the T20 World Cup in 2016. — AFP
This file photo shows Shahid Afridi celebrating after taking a wicket during a match against Bangladesh during the T20 World Cup in 2016. — AFP

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi will represent the Quetta Gladiators in what will be his farewell Pakistan Super League (PSL) season after playing for the Multan Sultans last year.

According to a press released issued on Thursday, England's James Vince will also transition from the Sultans to the Gladiators. As part of the trade, the Sultans will take Quetta’s diamond and silver round picks, respectively.

National T20 Cup hero Iftikhar Ahmed has also joined the Gladiators after being part of Islamabad United for the 2021 season. He has swapped teams with wicketkeeper/batsman Azam Khan, who has moved to Islamabad United from Quetta Gladiators, the statement said.

Earlier in June, Afridi had expressed his desire to play his “last season” of the PSL with the Quetta Gladiators.

Commenting on the switch, Afridi said that he was "excited" to join the Quetta Gladiators. "In my final PSL event, it will be my dream and wish to sign off with another PSL trophy after tasting success with Peshawar Zalmi in 2017," he said.

The tournament is an event that "encourages and inspires a player to give his very best. I will use the same motivation to help my team and put up performances that can help us achieve our objectives," Afridi said.

Meanwhile, Ahmed said that it was a "difficult decision" to move from Islamabad United. "But looking ahead to my future in T20 cricket that is linked to the Pakistan team, I thought this was the best move," he said, thanking the United management for their support.

He added that he was "thrilled" to be rejoining Afridi at the Gladiators' team. "Quetta Gladiators include a number of my contemporaries with whom I have played a lot of cricket," he said, adding that the upcoming PSL would be an "exciting and entertaining event".

The PSL draft 2022 will be held at the High Performance Centre in Lahore on Dec 12. Each franchise will come to the draft with a maximum of eight player retentions from the last event.

The first match will be held in Karachi on January 27 and Lahore will host the tournament's final on February 27. Karachi will host 15 matches from January 27 to February 7 while the remaining 15 matches and the four-play-offs will be plated at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium from February 10-27.

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