HAMBANTOTA: Pakistan cricket superstar Shahid Afridi will be replacing Sarfaraz Ahmed as the captain of Galle Gladiators in the Lanka Premier League this season, the team’s media group announced on Saturday.
According to Geo News, the former Pakistani skipper will be leading the side in the first edition of the league which will be played from November 26 to December 16 in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. The T20 star will be assisted by local player Bhanuka Rajapaksa as the Vice-Captain in the tournament.
Afridi replaced Ahmed, who was supposed to lead the side initially. The wicket-keeper batsman withdrew from the tournament to join Pakistan team’s series against New Zealand.
Nadeem Omar, Galle Gladiators’ owner, was happy with team’s decision of appointing the 40-year-old as the new captain. “Afridi is a global superstar and a great leader thus he is the perfect choice to lead Galle Gladiators in LPL,” he said. “I believe Afridi’s experience will be great for all our foreign players and local Sri Lankan guys. I trust that he will be able to help us fight for the title and win it,” Omar added.
Young Pakistan batsman Ahsan Ali replaces Ahmed in batting duties while West Indian batsman Chadwick Walton has come in as replacement of South African Colin Ingram, who went to play Big Bash.
On Friday, Azam Khan, Ahsan Ali, Chadwick Walton and Mohammad Amir reached Sri Lanka, and all are representing Galle Gladiators — the sister franchise of Pakistan Super League franchise Quetta Gladiators, owned by Nadeem Omar.
Star all-rounder Shahid Afridi and team mentor Wasim Akram will leave for the island nation a few days later. The players and officials will have to remain in a mandatory quarantined before being allowed in the five-team tournament, which has faced multiple delays.