Afridi set for county return

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Hampshire [UK], May 19 (ANI): Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi will be returning to Hampshire after signing for this season's NatWest T20 Blast competition. Afridi will join up with his Hampshire teammates ahead of the start of the side's T20 Blast campaign and will be available for the entire tournament. This will be his third spell at the Ageas Bowl, having helped the county reach T20 finals day in 2011. The 37year-old became a fans' favourite in his first spell at Hampshire in 2011 and then he returned to the club in 2016, featuring in 12 fixtures during last season's campaign. His 28 wickets with the ball across both stints came at an excellent average of 18.32, whilst the right-handed batsman has also proved to be a key contributor with the bat during that time, highlighted by his stunning 80 from just 42 balls in the 2011 semi-final against Somerset at Edgbaston. "He's been an important part of our success in the short form of the game in previous seasons and we feel his talents fit well with the current squad," ESPNcricinfo quoted Giles White, Hampshire's director of cricket, as saying. Afridi also proved his value with the bat most recently in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), in which he struck 177 runs in just eight innings, including a destructive knock of 54 from just 28 balls against Karachi Kings. Afridi, who is nicknamed 'Boom Boom' for his aggressive big-hitting, is also a highly effective leg-spinner in cricket's shortest format, with his 97 wickets in 98 matches a T20 international record. (ANI)