The limited-overs captain of Pakistan, Shahid Afridi, confirmed on Tuesday that he has accepted an offer to lead Nagenahira, one of the franchises to participate in the inaugural edition of the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), to be held during July-August this year.
The 31-year-old flamboyant all-rounder told a leading newspaper on Tuesday that he will captain one of the seven teams that will compete in the first edition of the Twenty20 tournament.
“I’ve accepted an offer to be captain of one of the team (Nagenahira) in the Sri Lankan premier league. It’s a good opportunity and I will try to make the most of it,” said the flamboyant all-rounder.
The Boom Boom Afridi is regarded as one of the most perilous all-rounders in Twenty20 cricket.
The 31-year-old hard hitting batsman also told the media reporters that he has been approached by Bangladesh’s premier league franchises as well for the captaincy role, adding that he is deliberating over those offers as well.
Giving the details of his deal with the SLPL franchise, Afridi said that he has signed a three-year contract with the franchise. He will receive an amount worth US$35,000 for the first edition of the Lankan Twenty20 league while the amount will be doubled in the 2012 season.
Afridi is not the only Pakistan player to feature in the Sri Lanka Premier League. Other players who have signed contracts with SLPL include the Test skipper, Misbah-ul-Haq, all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, express pacer Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Akmal and Umar Gul.
“There is a comfortable window for us (Pakistan’s cricketers) to feature in the league in Sri Lanka,” Afridi said. “We have a sufficient break from international cricket this summer.”
The Pakistan skipper will also play for Hampshire County Cricket Club in the 2011 Friends life T20 tournament. When asked what he would do if his county assignment clashed with the SLPL schedule, Afridi said, “There is a two-week break from the Hampshire assignment and I will use it to play in Sri Lanka.”
The right-arm leg-spinner expressed delight over Sri Lanka’s decision of hosting its own Twenty20 league and hoped other major cricket-playing nations will follow the Pearl Island.
The inaugural edition of SLPL, featuring seven teams in the inter-provincial competition, will kick off in the second half of July and will span over 18 days.