Hong Kong T20 Blitz

Kowloon Cantons hail injured Shahid Afridi – Pakistan star to mentor team but will not play in HK T20 Blitz

All-rounder needed 12 stitches on his right hand after a fielding mishap during the Pakistan Super League

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 March, 2017, 8:45pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 March, 2017, 2:18pm

Kowloon Cantons have praised Shahid Afridi after the Pakistani all-rounder said he would still travel to the city for the DTC Hong Kong T20 Blitz despite injuring his hand during the Pakistan Super League.

The 27-year-old former national captain hurt his right hand while fielding in a match for Peshawar Zalmi in UAE, against Karachi Kings. He needed 12 stitches and was forced to pull out of his team’s final against Quetta Gladiators, which Zalmi won in Lahore to be crowned champions.

Although he is unable to play for Cantons, Afridi will be in Hong Kong as a mentor to the team.

“We are all touched by the commitment shown by Shahid Afridi, to come and nurture domestic talent in Hong Kong, despite such a severe injury,” said Cantons CEO Urvashi Sethi.

Watch: Shahid Afridi gets injured while fielding

Afridi’s loss is the third blow suffered by Cantons in terms of their overseas players. Indian Yusuf Pathan was forced to pull out by the India’s cricket governing body, who refused permission for him to play, while England’s Tymal Mills suffered a hamstring injury and also withdrew.

Mills’ withdrawal came days after he was snapped up for HK$13.5 million during the Indian Premier League auction.

Pakistan’s master blaster Shahid Afridi signs with Kowloon Cantons for Hong Kong T20 Blitz

Afridi is replaced by Ashar Zaidi, an English country cricketer, Pathan’s place is taken up by West Indian Marlon Samuels while Yasir Arafat replaces Mills.

Sethi is confident Cantons will challenge for honours at the five-day tournament, which starts on Wednesday.

“Our coaches and selection team spent a lot of effort in identifying the right mix of international and domestic talent,” she said. “It is unfortunate that we have subsequently lost three of our international players, however they have been replaced by players carefully selected for the same skill sets.”

In a boost to the tournament, and Hung Hom JD Jaguars in particular, West Indian Darren Sammy will arrive in Hong Kong on a high after leading Zalmi to victory in Lahore.

Squads complete for Hong Kong T20 Blitz – organisers sitting on potential global cricket goldmine

Sammy, who has signed for the Jaguars in the Blitzh, was praised for his decision to play in Lahore despite security fears as other players refused to travel to the Pakistan city.

The final was the first international cricket match to be played Pakistan since an attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009.