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Shahid Afridi joins Karachi Kings as President, team owner Salman Iqbal confirms Afridi will also play

Shahid Afridi has joined Karachi Kings as “president”, according to the franchise. He is likely to feature for the team as a player, too, in the third edition of Pakistan Super League in 2018, though this is yet to be confirmed; the PSL’s trading window ahead of the next edition is yet to open. Last month Afridi had announced on Twitter that he had left Peshawar Zalmi after two years with the franchise.

ESPNcricinfo understands that Afridi is likely to be traded between Peshawar and Karachi as part of the formalities later this year. For now, Karachi Kings owner Salman Iqbal confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that Afridi had joined his franchise as president.

Afridi had tweeted on March 25 that he was “announcing my end of service as president & player of Peshawar Zalmi Team due to my personal reasons”. He said it was “time for another” team. Following his tweets, Peshawar’s owner, Javed Afridi, told ESPNcricinfo that he was “clueless” in the matter. Later, it was learnt that Afridi had parted ways from the franchise over disagreements with the owner.

“There are things that I don’t want to bring in media but Javed’s vision has changed with the time,” Afridi said on a TV show on Geo News. “I don’t want to become a hindrance to Javed’s goal and vision, because I have my own foundation and a lot of other things. So I can not fullfil his commitments and want to focus on my things as well. I wanted to announce it after the PSL final, but I had couple of commitments with Zalmi, so I waited for the right time.”

Afridi, who is based in Karachi but was born in Khyber Agency, had talked about the importance of Peshawar Zalmi to his local region, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a day before his Twitter announcment. “We have not created the Peshawar Zalmi team to play just a month’s cricket in the PSL and then sit at home,” Afridi had said. “Our work goes beyond the cricket field and we want to change the lives of the underprivileged in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”

Peshawar Zalmi won the PSL title in 2017, defeating Quetta Gladiators in the final held at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Afridi had missed the final with a finger injury that he picked up during the playoffs in the UAE. In all, in ten matches in PSL 2017, he had scored 177 runs at 25.28 with a strike rate of 173.52, and taken two wickets with an economy rate of 6.75. He had captained the franchise in the inaugural edition of the tournament, before handing over to Darren Sammy this year.


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