'Boom Boom' set for county return

Former Pakistan captain announced as Hampshire's second overseas player alongside George Bailey for T20s

Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi will return for a third spell with Hampshire after signing to take part in this season's English domestic Twenty20 tournament, the south coast club announced Thursday.

Nicknamed 'Boom Boom' for his aggressive big-hitting, the 37-year-old is also a highly effective leg-spinner in cricket's shortest format, with his 97 wickets in 98 matches a Twenty20 international record.

Afridi has had previous stints with Hampshire in 2011 and 2016, last season hitting 191 runs at 17.36 and collecting nine wickets at 30.44 with an economy rate of 6.22. He also helped the county to the finals of the domestic T20 competition in 2011.

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"We're thrilled to welcome Shahid back to the club for the coming T20 Blast campaign,” Hampshire director of cricket Giles White said.

"He's been an important part of our success in the short form of the game in previous seasons and we feel his talents fit well with the current squad."

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Afridi called time on his 21-year international career in February but continues to ply his trade in domestic T20 leagues.

The enigmatic allrounder took part in the second edition of the Pakistan Super League earlier this year, crashing 177 runs at a strike-rate of 173.52 before missing the final in Lahore with a finger injury.

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"He's come off the back of a very good Pakistani Super League, certainly with the bat, which bodes well," White told the BBC.

"Obviously with the ball he's shown his quality over the years and hopefully he remains the high-quality all-rounder that we expect.

"He forms a very good partnership with (spinning allrounder Liam) Dawson and being an all-rounder gives us the option of playing an extra bowler - maybe (leg-spinner Mason) Crane as a trio of spinners."

Afridi is Hampshire’s second overseas signing, joining former Australia limited-overs captain George Bailey at the Southampton-based club.

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