Shahid Afridi has been signed on as the icon player for T10 League's new franchise Qalandars.
Qalandars, closely tied to the Pakistan Super League (PSL) team Lahore Qalandars, is one of the two entrants alongside Bangla Tigers for the third edition of the competition scheduled to be hosted in Abu Dhabi in November.
Afridi previously served as the marquee player and captain of Pakhtoons across the last two T10 League seasons held in Sharjah but the franchise has now been discontinued.
While Afridi's association with the Qalandars currently is limited to the Abu Dhabi T10, this opens up the possibility of a PSL deal with the team.
Lahore Qalandars join Abu Dhabi T10 for 2019 season, announcing Shahid Afridi as their Icon Player. Qalandars ownership and Afridi today met with General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, H.E. Aref Al Awani for a press event to announce their participation! #AbuDhabiT10 #t10 pic.twitter.com/9cEIMbpbCc— T10 League (@T10League) September 22, 2019
Afridi, who last played for Pakistan in the 2016 World T20, represented Multan Sultans in the fourth PSL edition.
The news of Qalandars, owned by Pakistani businessman Fawad Rana, joining the glitzy competition bolsters the credibility of the innovative format, which has often been criticized for being too harsh on bowlers.
The upcoming T10 League is expected to feature nine teams with the former Sindhis franchise being rebranded as the Deccan Gladiators while Shane Watson has been named the side's icon player.
Another team, which was formerly called Bengal Tigers, has changed its name to Delhi Bulls.
The newly introduced Bangla Tigers, owned by Bangladeshi businessmen Yasin Chowdhury and Sirajuddin Alam, was launched last week.