Shaheen Afridi Joins Global T20 After Leaving The Hundred

Shaheen Afridi is in discussions to join Canada’s Global T20 league after deciding to pull out of The Hundred, citing a desire to spend time with his family. The two leagues are set to clash directly in 2024, and Afridi’s withdrawal marks a significant blow to The Hundred’s standing.

Afridi made his debut in The Hundred last year, taking six wickets in six appearances for Welsh Fire. He was retained by mutual agreement on a contract worth £100,000, placing him in the second-highest salary band in the league for the 2024 season. However, the ECB confirmed his withdrawal on Monday.

“I’m sad to miss out on playing for Welsh Fire this year,” Afridi said in a press release. “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.”

Shaheen Afidi

Shaheen Afridi’s Family Commitments and Scheduling Conflicts

A Cricket follower reports that Afridi’s official explanation to the ECB was his reluctance to commit to spending four weeks away from his family. The Hundred starts on July 23 and ends on August 18, with players expected to report a few days before their opening match.

Pakistan players are limited to two No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) per season for foreign leagues, as per their central contracts with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Afridi is already committed to a long-term deal with the Desert Vipers in the UAE’s ILT20.

Shaheen Afridi’s Alternative: Global T20 Canada

Instead of using his second NOC on The Hundred, Afridi is considering playing in the Global T20, a privately-run league in Canada set to return for its fourth season in 2024. The league is expected to run from July 25 until August 11, a slightly shorter window than The Hundred.

The Global T20’s first two editions were in 2018 and 2019, but it was postponed indefinitely during the COVID-19 pandemic. It returned in 2023, attracting top overseas players like Andre Russell, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shakib Al Hasan, and ran concurrently with the inaugural Major League Cricket (MLC).

The ECB’s Strategic Moves and Pakistani Players in The Hundred

The ECB’s move to open The Hundred to private investment is partly driven by the need to compete with salaries offered in other leagues. Four other Pakistani players are under contract in the men’s Hundred for 2024: Naseem Shah (Birmingham Phoenix), Haris Rauf (Welsh Fire), Imad Wasim (Trent Rockets), and Usama Mir (Manchester Originals).

Shaheen Shah Afridi’s decision to prioritize family time and consider the Global T20 highlights the complex choices cricketers face with overlapping schedules and commitments. As leagues like The Hundred and Global T20 vie for top talent, the dynamics of international cricket continue to evolve.

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