Lanka Premier League: Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi named captain of Galle Gladiators

Pakistan veteran Shahid Afridi will lead Galle Gladiators franchise in the inaugural Lankan Premier League (LPL) Twenty20 tournament to be played in Hambantota, Sri Lanka from November 26 to December 16.

Former Pakistan all-rounder Afridi was on Saturday named captain of the Galle Gladiators franchise, which has been brought by Pakistani businessman, Nadeem Omar who also owns the popular Quetta Gladiators franchise in the Pakistan Super League. Former Pakistan great Wasim Akram is the mentor of the team.

Initially, Sarfaraz Ahmed was named as the captain of Galle Gladiators but the decision had to be altered as the wicket-keeper batsman was named in the Pakistan squad for the tour of New Zealand.

“Afridi will now captain the side since he is the senior-most player in our franchise and has experience of captaincy,” Nadeem Omar said.

The Lanka Premier League has had a difficult build-up with key players such as Chris Gayle, Faf de Plussis, Lasith Malinga, Liam Plunkett, David Malan, Lasith Malinga, Kamran Akmal, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Hafeez pulling out of the tournament for various reasons.

What made matters worse was that two players, Pakistan pacer Sohail Tanvir, who was bought by the Kandy Tuskers franchise, and Canada batsman Ravinderpal Singh, who was to play for Colombo Kings, tested positive just three days ago.

Pakistani players who will be seen in action in the league, include Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Aamir, Ehsan Ali, Azam Khan, Usman Shinwari and Shoaib Malik.

Five franchises — Jaffna Stallions, Kandy Tuskers, Galle Gladiators, Colombo Kings and Dambulla Hawks will fight it out for the inaugural LPL trophy.

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