Shaheen Shah Afridi appeals against a batsman of Multan Sultan during a match in Lahore. File
Lahore Qalandars on Monday announced that Shaheen Shah Afridi will lead the side in the seventh edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL).
In a statement, CEO Lahore Qalandars Atif Rana said that the star fast bowler will lead the team in PSL 7 edition in 2022.
Shaheen Afridi replaces Sohail Akhtar who led the side in last two editions. Under Akhtar's captaincy, the Qalandars also played the final of PSL-V — but have not yet won the final in any of the tournament's editions.
"My priority is always to polish and see a young cricketer improving his career towards betterment. Never saw any cricketer groom so well and quickly with the skills as Shaheen Afridi," said head coach Aqib Javed, who was also present at the event.
Shaheen was equally excited on his appointment. The pace sensation said that Qalandars will continue to play exciting cricket.
“I am very excited to be named as captain of Lahore Qalandars this year. We have a very balanced side with all the bases covered, we will try our best to bring the trophy home for Lahore Qalandars’ fans this year,” he said.
It is worth adding that the Pakistan superstar left-arm pacer was previously the deputy to Sohail Akhtar in PSL 6 and this will be Shaheen's first-ever captaincy stint in professional cricket.
The 21-year-old joined the Lahore Qalandars franchise in the third edition of the tournament and since then, he has been a standout performer. He is currently the leading wicket-taker for the franchise and overall the seventh-highest wicket-taker in the tournament's history. The left-arm pacer has 50 wickets at an average of 21.20 and an economy rate of 7.65 in 37 matches.
Regarded as one of the best bowlers in the world right now, Shaheen lit the world cricket on fire after a supremely impressive 2021. He proved pivotal in Pakistan's run to the semifinals in the T20 World Cup before Pakistan crashed out to Australia, he has joined the Pakistan greats in the list of leading Test wicket-takers as well.
Left-handed Masood made 83 off 50 balls while Rizwan’s (69) sublime form in the T20s continued as he scored his second successive half-century in Multan’s record-breaking chase of 209-5 with two balls to spare.
The toss didn’t go in favour of Karachi skipper Babar Zaman for the third successive game and his team, despite Sharjeel Khan’s 60, was restricted to 170-7 in its 20 overs.
The 22-year-old former England under-19 captain plundered 10 fours and five sixes in his unbeaten 102 off 49 balls and lifted Lahore from a precarious 12-3 to its total of 197-6 after captain Shaheen Shah Afridi won the toss and chose to bat.
Defending 12 in the last over, the 20-year-old Zaman gave away just three runs off the first four balls before hard-hitting batter Asif Ali holed out at long off for 15 off the fifth delivery as Islamabad finished at 166-5.
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