Pakistan swing sensation Shaheen Shah Afridi set to play ILT20 2024

Shaheen Afridi has joined last year's finalists Desert Vipers on a three-year contract.

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Shaheen Shah Afridi
Shaheen Shah Afridi. (Pic source: Michael Steele-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

The first season of the International League T20 (ILT20) was held in January-February 2023 in the UAE with six teams. Gulf Giants were the eventual champions as they defeated Desert Vipers in the final. Last season did not feature any Pakistani players but that is set to change in the upcoming season as some of the best from the Asian nation are going to be in action.

On Monday, August 14, the Desert Vipers and the league confirmed that Pakistan swing sensation Shaheen Afridi has joined last year's finalists on a three-year contract. This is a huge scalp for the Vipers as the left-arm seamer can demolish the opposition single-handedly when he is in the mood. In the T20 format, the youngster has picked up 229 wickets in 162 matches at an average of 20.65 and a strike rate of 15.80. He also has an economy rate of just 7.82, which is outstanding for someone who bowls the difficult overs.

Shaheen has also improved his batting in recent times and that was evident during this year's Pakistan Super League, where he scored a jaw-dropping 44* in just 15 balls in the final to help Lahore Qalandars win the title. In eight innings, he scored 132 runs at a strike rate of 167.09. Hence, Shaheen's all-round ability will be a huge plus point for the Vipers.

We are thrilled to have secured a high-profile player like Shaheen Afridi: Tom Moody

Tom Moody, who is the director of cricket for Desert Vipers, praised Shaheen and explained what the talented youngster could bring to the table.

“Shaheen is a player of world-class calibre who has had a significant impact not only for Pakistan but for every team he’s played for in recent times,” Moody was quoted as saying by the National News Cricket.

"He offers a huge amount as an impact pace bowler that has destroyed many, many top-orders and he also boasts terrific leadership skills that will add a huge amount of value to the Desert Vipers moving forward. We are thrilled to have secured such a high-profile player, and a player who is so highly regarded in world cricket," he added.

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