Afridi in doubt for Lions

2012-01-14 12:44

Johannesburg - Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq’s participation in South Africa’s domestic Twenty20 competition is in doubt because of international commitments and the advent of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

The Highveld Lions announced the signing of the two Pakistan all-rounders in October last year.

But South Africa’s domestic T20 competition, set to run from February 15 to March 30, clashes with the Bangladesh Premier League, which is set for February 2 to February 29 and England’s tour against Pakistan in the UAE which only ends on February 27.

Afridi and Razzaq, as well as Chris Gayle who has signed for the Dolphins, have all been entered in the BPL player auction due to take place on January 19.

Dolphins chief executive Jesse Chellan said that he was aware of Gayle’s participation in the auction but that the West Indies batsman would still honour his commitment to the Dolphins.

“He will only be playing about three games in the BPL,” Chellan told SuperCricket on Friday.

“He is due to arrive (in Durban) on February 16. I am aware of him being in the auction but it doesn’t affect us,” he added.

The picture is not so rosy for the Lions with Afridi almost certain to be picked for the one-day series against England.

“They are still contracted (to the Lions) however they may have certain commitments, like playing for their country in international competitions,” Lions chief executive Cassim Docrat said.

“At this stage it is likely that Afridi will find it difficult (to play for the Lions). If he does come it will only be at the tailend of the tournament. Razzaq is still waiting to find out if he will be involved (with Pakistan),” he added.

Docrat did concede that the BPL could also have an adverse effect on Afridi and Razzaq possibly playing in South Africa although he was hoping that Razzaq would still make the trip.

“There are a number of opportunities to them. These are a few of the difficult decisions that we (Lions) will have to make. It (BPL) means that they will probably miss at least three games while England’s tour against Pakistan only ends in late February. It is unlikely that Afridi will come but Razzaq is still a possibility,” he explained.