ISLAMABAD: English cricket county club Nottinghamshire have signed left-arm Pakistani pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi for their upcoming Vitality Blast tournament, the league confirmed on Thursday.
The Vitality Blast, previously known as the T20 Blast, is a professional Twenty20 cricket competition featuring English and Welsh first-class counties. It was established by the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2003, making it the first professional T20 cricket league.
Afridi, who captained the Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Lahore Qalandars to their second consecutive PSL trophy earlier this month, is one of the most lethal fast bowlers in international cricket currently.
Afridi has previously played for English county clubs Middlesex and Hampshire. He will be one of two overseas players who have been signed by Nottinghamshire, the other being South Africa’s Colin Munro.
“@iShaheenAfridi joins @TrentBridge for #Blast23,” Vitality Blast wrote on Twitter.
“Notts play an aggressive brand of cricket, which suits me well,” Afridi said, according to cricket website ESPNcricinfo. “They’ve had great success in recent years and the likes of Alex Hales, Colin Munro and Joe Clarke are players I have faced up against in recent years and been impressed by.”
Afridi said his past experience of playing at the Trent Bridge ground, home of the Nottinghamshire county club, has helped him realize it is a fast-scoring ground where a bowler must get his line and length accurate or risk being pummeled for runs.
“It’s definitely an exciting move for me, and one I’m looking forward to,” he said.
Nottinghamshire won the 2017 and 2020 editions of the Vitality Blast. Last season, however, the county missed out on qualification for the knockout stages of the league for the first time since 2015.
Head coach Peter Moores hailed Afridi as a “box-office player” who could reinvigorate the club.
“In Shaheen, we’ve got a world class player — which is really exciting — and a player with a point of difference with the ball, which is crucial when we are looking to recruit,” he said.