London - Big-hitting Pakistan star Shahid Afridi is set to return to Hampshire for this season's domestic Twenty20 Blast competition, the English county announced on Wednesday.
Afridi, Pakistan's captain for the forthcoming World Twenty20 in India, will be available for the whole Blast tournament, Hampshire said.
Nicknamed 'Boom Boom' for his aggressive approach with the bat, Afridi is also an effective leg-spin bowler.
The value of his bowling was evident in last season's final when, playing for Northamptonshire, he took three for 14 although that could not prevent a Lancashire win.
Afridi, who has had spells with several counties, last played for south coast club Hampshire in 2011 when he took 17 wickets in 10 matches and thumped 80 off 42 balls in the semi-final defeat to Somerset.
"I am very pleased to be returning to Hampshire, I really enjoyed my previous spells there and I'm looking forward to spending some time on the beautiful south coast and playing some serious cricket in front of the Hampshire fans at the Ageas Bowl," said Afridi in a club statement.
Afridi, who has played 27 Tests, 398 one-day internationals and 90 T20s for Pakistan, has largely become a Twenty20 specialist in recent times. He holds the record for most Twenty20 international wickets with 91.
"This year it has been a challenge to get the top players over for significant periods of the Blast so we are delighted that he is available for the entire tournament," said Hampshire director of cricket Giles White.
"Shahid made a huge impression last time he was with us and his return is a major boost ahead of our T20 campaign."