LPL 2020: Galle Gladiators appoint Shahid Afridi as captain
Galle Gladiators have appointed former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi as their captain for the upcoming inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL). The 40-year-old Afridi was recently seen playing for Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) playoffs stage. His experience will prove to be crucial for Gladiators, who also appointed domestic talent Bhanuka Rajapaksa as Afridi's deputy.
Afridi, who still plies his trade in T20 leagues, went on to feature in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan. In the recent PSL playoffs in Karachi, Afridi claimed three wickets and scored 12 runs in two matches for Multan Sultans. Earlier, former Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz pulled out from the franchise-based T20 tournament. Sarfaraz was set to lead the Gladiators.
Meanwhile, South African pacer Dale Steyn will be joining the Kandy Tuskers squad for the Lanka Premier League. "We are also thrilled to announce that one of the greatest bowlers of all time Dale Steyn will join the Kandy Tuskers squad!" the franchise said on their official Twitter handle. Earlier, Zimbabwe's Brendan Taylor joined the squad as well.
Earlier, Tuskers saw Chris Gayle and Liam Plunkett pull out of the tournament to hand them a decisive blow. And now, Shoaib Malik, who was also slated to play for Tuskers, tested positive for COVID-19. "Unfortunately Shoaib Malik, our own Kandy Tusker has tested positive for COVID-19. We hope he has a speedy recovery and is back in time for the LPL,"
The Lanka Premier League is scheduled to be played from November 26 to December 16 at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium (MRICS) in Hambantota. As many as five teams named after Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla, and Jaffna, will compete in 23 matches for the title. Notably, Kandy Tuskers will take on Colombo Kings in the tournament opener.