Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi will return to Hampshire for a third spell after signing for this season’s NatWest T20 Blast.
The 37-year-old, a big-hitting batsman and dangerous leg-spinner who had spells at the Ageas Bowl in 2011 and 2016, played 27 Tests, 398 one-day internationals and 98 Twenty20s during a glittering career for Pakistan.
Here, we take a look at five of his best international performances.
102 against Sri Lanka (ODI) in Nairobi, October 4, 1996
Aged 16 years and 217 days, Afridi shot to stardom by crashing the fastest one-day international century – from just 37 balls – in his first format innings. The right-hander justified the decision to elevate him to number three by smashing six fours and 11 sixes in his 102, helping Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 82 runs.
The record was in place for more than 17 years until New Zealander Corey Anderson required just 36 deliveries to reach the milestone on New Year’s Day in 2014.
141 against India (Test) in Chennai, January, 1999
Despite transforming into a limited-overs specialist for Pakistan, 18-year-old Afridi proved his Test credentials by following a five-wicket haul on his debut with a century in his second match.
Opening the innings, Afridi displayed the type of concentration and patience that he often lacked in one-day cricket, batting for more than five hours for 141 from 191 deliveries to inspire Pakistan to a 12-run victory over rivals India.
102 against India (ODI) in Kanpur, April 15, 2005
Afridi continued his century-making against India by producing another sensational knock, this time taking 45 balls to reach an ODI hundred.
He blasted 10 fours and nine sixes, hitting 102 of an opening stand of 131 with Salman Butt in 14.2 overs, to set the platform for a successful chase of 250 to beat India and seal a series comeback win with one game to spare.
54 not out against Sri Lanka (T20I) at Lord’s, June 21, 2009
Having struck a half-century and taken two for 16 during a narrow win over South Africa in the 2009 World Twenty20 semi-finals, Afridi steered his side to glory in the final at Lord’s. The leg-spinner was again economical with the ball, taking one wicket for just 20 runs in four overs, before guiding Pakistan home in their chase of 139 with 54 not out from 40 deliveries.
The victory ended Afridi’s wait for a major trophy with Pakistan after he played in the 1999 50-over World Cup final defeat to Australia and the inaugural World T20 showpiece loss against India in 2007.
76 and seven for 12 against West Indies (ODI) in Guyana, July 14, 2013
Afridi produced arguably his best all-round performance for Pakistan in Guyana in 2013. Not satisfied with a 55-ball 76 that propelled Pakistan to 224 for nine, the leg-spinner took the final seven wickets for just 12 runs in nine brilliant overs as the Windies were skittled for just 98.
Mohammad Nawaz has been banned for two months by the Pakistan Cricket Board as part of its investigations into last winter’s spot-fixing scandal.
All-rounder Nawaz – who played four of his nine one-day internationals to date against England eight months ago – has also been fined £2,500, with the second half of his ban suspended as long as he pays up and continues to co-operate with the governing body.
The 23-year-old has become the second player to be suspended from playing by the PCB as it continues to investigate the controversy which erupted at the Pakistan Super League in the United Arab Emirates in March.
Like Test seamer Mohammad Irfan – banned for a year, with six months suspended – Nawaz has admitted his wrongdoing.
A statement from the PCB confirmed the details on Wednesday, including the ban to begin with immediate effect.
The PCB said in its press release: “It was alleged that Nawaz had, on one occasion, failed to disclose to the PCB vigilance and security department … full details of the approaches and invitations received by him to engage in corrupt conduct.
“On May 15 2017 Nawaz approached the PCB to initiate proceedings.
“Resultantly, PCB required Nawaz to submit a written statement explaining his version of events, his response to the notice of charge and any mitigating factors that he would like the PCB to consider, and thereafter appear before the PCB vigilance and security department to answer their queries.
“Nawaz submitted his written statement admitting the charges levelled against him by PCB and appeared for subsequent meetings with PCB on May 16 2017 to properly explain his case.”
The Green Army face Bangladesh in a warm-up fixture at Edgbaston on Saturday May 27 before facing Australia at the same venue two days later.
These two 50-over tune-ups should act as ideal preparation for Pakistan before the much-anticipated June 4 Champions Trophy opener against fierce rivals India – also in Birmingham.
Pakistan face South Africa (June 7 – Birmingham) and Sri Lanka (June 12 – Sophia Gardens in Cardiff) in their other Group B fixtures.
Here’s a selection of Tweets following their arrival:
Pakistan Team arrival at hotel in Birmingham pic.twitter.com/I9ph29bCdE— PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) May 16, 2017