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Shahid Afridi likely to sit out Galle Gladiators' opening match after missing Sri Lanka flight
Galle Gladiators News

Shahid Afridi likely to sit out Galle Gladiators' opening match after missing Sri Lanka flight

Galle Gladiators skipper Shahid Afridi will reportedly be unavailable for his team's opening match of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) after missing his flight to Sri Lanka on Monday morning.

Afridi was picked as the marquee signing for Galle Gladiators, who share the same owners as the Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Quetta Gladiators.

Afridi was recently named captain of Galle after it emerged that Lasith Malinga pulled out of the competition due to lack of preparation. The doors on Malinga's possible inclusion in the team have not been closed since discussions are underway to get the veteran paceman on-board for the inaugural edition of the league.

Before Malinga, the captaincy role was supposed to be given to Sarfaraz Ahmed but the wicketkeeper-batsman is currently with the Pakistan squad for the New Zealand tour.

"Missed my flight to Colombo today morning. Nothing to worry, I'll be reaching soon to take part in the LPL for Galle Gladiators. Look forward to joining my teammates," Afridi wrote on Twitter.

It remains to be seen when Afridi will arrive in Sri Lanka as he will have to undergo a mandatory quarantine period before being allowed to integrate with the Galle team.

In Afridi's absence, vice-captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa is expected to be handed leadership duties for Galle's match against Jaffna Stallions on Friday.

Afridi, who retired from international cricket for Pakistan in 2016, was in action in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) playoffs last week for Multan Sultans.

Although Sultans faced defeat in both games, Afridi shone with the ball in the contest against Lahore Qalandars, picking up two wickets for 18 runs in four overs.

He will boost the Gladiators line-up given his vast experience in the shortest format with a total of 319 T20 appearances and counting.