Afridi agrees to rejoin Hampshire
Shahid Afridi is set to play for Hampshire in the Friends Life t20 for a second straight season.
The Pakistan all-rounder, who yesterday reversed his decision to retire from the international game, took 17 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 11.17 - including his county-best bowling figures of 5-20 versus Gloucestershire - this year for the Royals, who won the South Group by three points despite starting with a deduction of two.
Having managed just 100 runs in his first eight innings, he hit a stunning 80 from 41 balls against Somerset in their tied semi-final, which 2010 champions Hampshire lost on a one-over eliminator when Afridi could not overhaul 16.
Afridi said: “I am very pleased to be returning to Hampshire to complete some unfinished business. The semi-final loss is something that I aim to put right and I am sure with the backing of all the boys it is something we will achieve.
“I would like to thank Rod Bransgrove, Giles White and all the staff at the club for making me feel like one of the family last season and also for sticking by me in a tough situation. Hence, when the offers came in for the new season, there was only one club as far as me and my manager were concerned.”
Afridi, who also signed for Hampshire for the 2010 season but was unable to play due to international commitments, is expected to be available for the whole t20 campaign and will qualify as the Royals’ second permitted overseas player alongside already-signed Australia batsman Simon Katich.
Hampshire manager Giles White said: “He had an enormous impact last season with us in the Twenty20 and we had a very good tournament so we welcome Shahid back next year and look forward to seeing him.
“He fits into the changing room very well and he does the business on the pitch so we’re very pleased.”