Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi is set to miss at least two matches in the upcoming and inaugural Lanka Premier League after he missed his flight to Sri Lanka on Monday.
Afridi, who will lead the franchise Galle Gladiators, tweeted about the development with a touch of disappointment.
“Nothing to worry, I’ll be reaching soon to take part in the LPL for Galle Gladiators. Look forward to joining my teammates,” the 40-year-old all-rounder tweeted.
In his absence, Galle Gladiators will lock horns with Jaffna Stallions on November 27 a day after the inaugural season opener between Kandy Tuskers and Colombo Kings.
Stumbling upon Afridi’s tweet, many fans from his country extended their support to the cricketer and said that they were eager to see the Pakistani player in action. The rest, however, didn’t go so easy on Afridi.
Afridi was named the captain of Galle Gladiators after Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga and Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed made themselves unavailable due to lack of preparation and national commitments respectively. In the absence of Afridi, vice-captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa could lead the Gladiators in the first few matches.
The 40-year-old Afridi is heading to the LPL after having played two matches for Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League play-offs earlier this month, where he picked up three wickets in two matches. Once Afridi arrives in Sri Lanka, he will have to undergo a three-day isolated quarantine before entering the tournament’s bio-secure bubble.