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Shaheen Afridi Rejects Hefty T20 Deals To Focus On Pakistan T20I Captaincy

image-lpjmau23Shaheen Afridi (Twitter)

Pakistan speedster Shaheen Afridi has reportedly withdrawn from hefty T20 gigs offered to him in the UAE-based International League T20 (ILT20) and Australia's Big Bash League (BBL) to focus primarily on national duties as the newly appointed T20I skipper. 

With only seven months left prior to the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in the Caribbean & USA, the Pakistan captain and key left-arm pacer wishes to retain his prime fitness and stay fresh for the showpiece ICC event. 

According to a report by 'Inside Sport', Afridi has taken the decision to withdraw from his existing three-year deal with Desert Vipers in ILT20 and also refused to sign a fresh gig offered by one of the BBL clubs. 

Afridi will be taking part in Pakistan's three-Test series in Australia from December 14 before he travels across to New Zealand in late January for his first assignment at the helm of affairs. While there are no more Tests and ODIs in the immediate sighting, Pakistan have a long build-up towards the T20 World Cup next June.

Shaheen Afridi Snubs T20 Deals For World Cup 2024

Pakistan are scheduled to play five T20Is on the Kiwi shores between January 12 and 21 before entering their own premier domestic T20 competition the Pakistan Super League (PSL) where Shaheen captains Lahore Qalandars. Upon return to international duties, the 2009 champions then travel to Ireland and England in May before playing their first T20 World Cup fixture in June. 

Shaheen has cleared his individual schedule and freed-up his commitments to ensure he could give his best for Pakistan as they strive to take one step forward after last year's runners-up finish in Australia under Babar Azam's captaincy. 

The pacer takes over from Babar, his longstanding friend, in the aftermath of the disastrous pre-semifinal exit from the ICC World Cup 2023 in India where the Asian giants won just four of their nine matches. 

Amidst great scrutiny and criticism, Babar resigned across formats, with Shaheen being appointed the new T20I captain while opener Shan Masood takes over the mantle in Test matches.