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Shaheen Afridi likely to play Global T20 Canada after bidding farewell to The Hundred

Shaheen Afridi likely to play Global T20 Canada after bidding farewell to The Hundred
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Pakistani bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi is in conversations with the Global T20 Canada league, marking a notable shift as he has recently pulled out from The Hundred. Afridi’s motive behind this decision is to spend more time with his family. His decision, officialized by the ECB on Monday, negotiates a significant blow to the reputation of the Hundred, where he took part last year, bagging six wickets in six games for Welsh Fire.

Shaheen Shah Afridi to Join Global T20 Canada League, Withdraws from the Hundred

Welsh Fire retained Afridi on a £100,000 contract for the 2024 season. He has voiced his sadness over missing the Hundred and was quoted as saying in a press release,

“I’m sad to miss out on playing for Welsh Fire this year. I enjoyed the Hundred a lot last season, and I was excited about being back in Cardiff. I wish Mike [Hussey, Welsh Fire’s coach] and the team the best of luck for 2024.”

The match between the schedules of the Global T20 league, underplay from July 25 to August 11, and the Hundred, from July 23 to August 18, has affected Afridi’s decision. Afridi’s parting ways with the England tournament is officially attributed to his unwillingness to spend four weeks away from his family.

Pakistan cricketers are permitted two No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) per season for foreign leagues. Afridi, who has a long-term deal with Desert Vipers in UAE’s ILT20, has chosen to use his second NOC for the Global T20 in Canada rather than the Hundred. The Global T20 league, which had its first two editions in 2018 and 2019 and returned in 2023 after a COVID-19 hiatus, has lured notable cricketers like Andre Russell, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shakib Al Hasan. Nevertheless, the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) has apprised payment issues with the Global T20, suggesting players request advanced payment.

It is pertinent to mention that Matt Henry, the New Zealand seamer, will substitute Afridi at Welsh Fire. However, Henry might not be available for the start of The Hundred if his Major League Cricket team, San Francisco Unicorns, enter the playoffs. The majority of the men’s foreign players in the Hundred may encounter similar scheduling conflicts.

The ECB is planning to compete with other leagues’ salaries by opening the Hundred to private investment. Momentarily, four other Pakistan players are hired for the men’s Hundred in 2024 including Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Imad Wasim, and Usama Mir.

Source: ESPN

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