Shahid Afridi's Hampshire return delayed by trip to Pakistan

Shahid Afridi

Hampshire all-rounder Shahid Afridi's return to the county has been delayed because of visa problems.

Afridi was due to return for Hampshire's FL t20 campaign but has had to return to his native Pakistan to obtain a visa allowing him to play.

The 32-year-old, who has already missed two T20 matches, had been playing for Pakistan in Sri Lanka in a one-day international series.

"We'll miss Shahid," Hampshire manager Giles White told BBC Radio Solent.

Afridi will miss Friday's game against Kent as well as Sunday's return.

"Every side in the world would miss someone of his ability," added White.

"We will wait for him to resolve his visa issues. He needs to travel back to Pakistan, get the visa sorted and we hope he will arrive sooner rather than later.

"He's very keen to get over here and he will come as soon as he can. We'll be delighted when he does arrive."

Last season he missed the first six T20 fixtures for Hampshire after a delay in obtaining a 'no-objection' certificate from the Pakistan cricket board following a dispute.

But White says no-one is to blame for the delay, adding it was just one of those things.

"There is no finger pointing," he said. "It is just the way it has worked out with the border agency and certain issues that have cropped up."

Hampshire say they hope he will miss only four games this time around, addding they believe he will be available "shortly after Sunday's trip to Kent".

"It is no-one's fault. Hopefully he will be here within the next few days," said White.

Afridi enjoyed a successful stay with Hampshire in 2011, taking 17 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 11.17.

His efforts helped his side progress through the group stages unbeaten at home and ultimately to T20 finals day at Edgbaston.

Highlights from Afridi's 2011 campaign include taking his county-best bowling figures of 5-20 on his home debut against Gloucestershire, and an impressive knock of 80 in the semi-final against Somerset.