KARACHI: Ruhuna Royals suffered a blow to their Sri Lankan Premier League (SLPL) campaign as Pakistan star Shahid Afridi withdrew from the tournament and returned home to attend his ailing wife.
The all-rounder’s withdrawal is being seen as another setback for the inaugural edition of the league, which has faced various issues ranging from India’s boycott to withdrawal of big names from other countries.
West Indies star Chris Gayle, Abdur Rehman, Fidel Edwards, Marlon Samuels and Shakib Al Hasan are among the international players to skip the tournament.
Former Sri Lanka captain and Kandurata’s icon player Kumar Sangakkara was also ruled out due to injury.
‘Afridi could return to SLPL’
Meanwhile, a senior SLPL official hoped Afridi, who has scored 52 runs and taken two wickets, would return within a few days as Ruhuna struggle in the seven-team tournament. After four matches, Royals, who are currently ranked fifth, have managed a solitary win against three losses and will be battling for a place in the semi-finals.
The official of the SLPL organising committee said the Pakistan all-rounder will return if ‘issues get resolved’. Ruhuna are scheduled to play against Basnahira Cricket Dundee tomorrow.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2012.