A little over a week after he arrived in Sri Lanka to play in the Lanka Premier League, Shahid Afridi will leave to attend to a “personal emergency” in Pakistan. Afridi did not give details on how long he would be away for, but he did say he would return to his Galle Gladiators franchise “after the situation is handled”.
Elsewhere at the LPL, fast bowler Aftab Alam has also returned to Afghanistan for personal reasons.
If Afridi does come back, he may have to undergo a brief quarantine upon his return, but the tournament’s medical staff are unlikely to impose the seven-day quarantine they had on other players, as Afridi has proven he has already had Covid-19, and as such, is unlikely to contract or transmit the disease. He had initially arrived in Sri Lanka on November 24, but was allowed to take the field and play on November 27, after a test showed he had antibodies for Covid-19.
His exit, though, leaves his team without its captain, after a poor start to the LPL. Gladiators are the only side in the tournament yet to record a victory. Vice-captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa is most likely to take the reins from Afridi.
Alam’s exit will hurt his franchise – Dambulla Viiking – as well, with Alam having performed creditably on his only outing for Viiking, on Monday. The Viiking team has won two of their three matches so far, however.
The LPL runs until December 16.