Cricket: Afridi, Sarfaraz to play for Galle Gladiators in LPL

Former Pakistan skippers Shahid Afridi and Sarfaraz Ahmed will play in the upcoming Lankan Premier League for Galle Gladiators, a team bought by the owner of Pakistan Super League franchise Quetta Gladiators.

The announcement of the inclusion of Afridi and Sarfaraz in the franchise was made by Nadeem Omar, who owns Quetta Gladiators, during a reception held here on Wednesday to unveil the Galle Gladiators outfit.

Afridi was named the icon player of the Galle Gladiators and the former allrounder took to twitter to thank Omar.

“Proud to be the icon player for Galle Gladiators. I want to thank Nadeem Omar bhai and also congratulate him for being the first franchise owner from Pakistan in the #LPL. I’ll be seeing you all in,” tweeted the 40-year-old, who last played a T20 event for Multan Sultans in the PSL this year.

The inaugural event is scheduled to be held from November 14 to December 6 and the Sri Lankan board has already sold all rights of its league including broadcasting and media rights.

Five teams representing five cities will take part in the Lanka Premier League but with the Pakistan Cricket Board also announcing that it would hold its remaining four PSL matches between November 14 and 17, many Pakistani players might be unable to attend the initial part of the event.

The Sri Lankan board is counting a lot on the premier league to resume full time cricket activities at home after cancellation of five international commitments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sri Lanka has comparatively seen only 3000 cases of the virus since March with around 24 deaths which is a low number compared to the cases in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Omar said the purpose of buying stakes in the Galle team was to help promote the Lanka league and also because of the old friendly ties between Pakistan and Sri Lankan cricket.

The tournament will be played at three international venues — Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele International Cricket Stadium and Suriyawewa Mahinda Rajapakse International Cricket Stadium.

Five teams will compete in 23 matches over a 15-day period.