Shahid Afridi: Pakistan star joins Northants for T20 Blast

Shahid Afridi
Pakistan's Shahid Afridi will retire from one-day internationals after the 2015 World Cup

Northants have signed Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi for the first six T20 Blast games of this summer.

The big-hitting 34-year-old holds the record of 342 for the most sixes in the history of one-day internationals.

And he has a strike-rate of 116.29 from 389 one-dayers and 145.29 from 77 T20 games for Pakistan.

"He doesn't need a big introduction. He is one of the top one-day cricketers of the last decade," Northants coach David Ripley told BBC Radio Northampton.

"I think we were in the right place at the right time to get a bit of dialogue going.

Afridi in numbers
342 ODI sixes - most by any player7-12 - second best ODI match figures
102 off 37 balls - was the fastest ODI century in October 1996, now third fastest391 wickets - sixth best in ODI history
116.29 - sixth best ODI strikerate of all time81 wickets - third best in T20I history
145.29 - sixth best T20I strikerate of all time21 wickets - join highest at 2011 World Cup

"It's a very exciting signing. It's for the start of the competition so hopefully we can come out of the blocks quickly.

"We might not be able to finance another player further down the line, but we haven't given up hope on that."

The Wantage Road side, who won the T20 trophy in 2013, already have South African all-rounder Rory Kleinveldt signed up for all formats, along with fellow countryman and a top-order batsman Richard Levi, who will not count as an overseas players under the terms of the Kolpak ruling.

Afridi will join up with the Northants squad in time for their opening T20 Blast fixture away to Durham on 15 May, and will remain for games against the Birmingham Bears, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire.

He also bowls leg-spin and has 391 wickets in one-dayers, at an average of 23.49, and 81 T20 international wickets at a cost of 22.44 each, plus 48 from 27 Test appearances.

He was the joint-leading wicket taker at the 2011 World Cup, with 21 dismissals.

Afridi, who has also played for Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Kent and Hampshire, will retire from ODIs after this year's World Cup.

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