Hampshire confirm Shahid Afridi discussions

Shahid Afridi

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove has confirmed the county is looking to sign Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi for October's Champions League pre-qualifying tournament.

Hants qualified for the tournament for the first time after winning the English T20 competition on Saturday.

Afridi played for the Royals in 2011.

"You'd have to be naive to think that we were not talking to Afridi and Afridi was not talking to us," Bransgrove told BBC Radio Solent.

Pakistan all-rounder Afridi had been scheduled to play for Hampshire in this season's T20 tournament but the plan was scuppered by visa issues.

His availability for the group stages of the Champions League would be a major boost for Hants, but Bransgrove revealed the chances of re-signing Australian Glenn Maxwell were less likely.

"We'll do the very best we can, we'd like to take the strongest squad we can to South Africa in October and have a real go at the Champions League," he said.

"I don't know what the situation is with Maxwell. I know he is already committed to one of the IPL franchises and it may well be that we won't be able to get him, but we will do our best."

In Hampshire's pre-qualifying group in South Africa are New Zealand side the Auckland Aces and Pakistan outfit Sialkot Stallions. The group winners go through to the Champions League proper.

Bransgrove is delighted to get the opportunity to spread the Hampshire 'brand' across the world.

"I'm going out there with the team to offer support but I can assure you that the team will be up for doing the best they can," he said.

"We're quite good at Twenty 20 cricket. We know what our game plan is, everyone knows their role and they stick to it and we'll give it our best shot like we always do.

"It's fantastic. This is an unbelievable club known all around the country and well beyond. A lot of famous cricketers such as Shane Warne and Kevin Pietersen and others have played for this club.

"That has given us a profile well beyond these shores and the people that have played here give us a very good rap and we have a lot to be proud of.

"Appearing in the Champions League will only further that international reputation."

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