Kowloon Cantons are proud to announce that former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi will join the franchise for the 2017 Hong Kong T20 Blitz scheduled for March 8-12.

Regarded as one of the world’s best all-rounders in the T20 format, Afridi is the first of five overseas players that will join the Cantons, who were joint champions in the inaugural 2016 event. It was in this tournament that World Cup winning captain Michael Clarke represented the Cantons as a marquee player.

Afridi held the record for the fastest ODI century for almost 20 years until it was broken by AB De Villiers in 2015. The 36-year-old was the player of the tournament for the inaugural edition of the ICC World Twenty20 in 2007 and led Pakistan to the title in 2009 with match-winning performances in the semi-final and final.

The Cantons franchise made headlines in Hong Kong last year with a syndicate of nine women joining forces to own and run the franchise.

Spokesperson from the Kowloon Cantons said, “We are thrilled to have such a fantastic player come into our Kowloon Cantons family. We have always looked at this tournament as a way to promote the game in Hong Kong and to provide more international exposure to our young domestic talent. We are sure that Shahid Afridi’s presence will once again bring this tournament into the global limelight.”

On playing for the Kowloon Cantons, Shahid Afridi said, “I am looking forward to playing for the Kowloon Cantons in the HKT20 Blitz, I’ve heard good things about the tournament and look forward to playing in Hong Kong again, a place where I always enjoy the atmosphere, people and hospitality”

Hong Kong T20 Blitz tournament Director Max Abbott said: “Truthfully upon hearing the news we have adjusted our budget for extra balls – there’s not many bigger hitters than Afridi. Kowloon Cantons set the standard last year on the overseas players with Michael Clarke and it’s a great credit to them to be bringing another international superstar.”

Hong Kong national skipper, Babar Hayat, will captain the team supported by last year’s teammates Shahid Wasif, Tanveer Ahmed and Ehsan Nawaz. Joining the Cantons this year will be Hong Kong National players Giacomo Lamplough and Waqas Khan, HK Dragons player Li Ka Ming, and young local talent Angus Robson. Craig Wright leads the team as Head Coach.

More announcements regarding overseas players in the tournament will be unveiled over the coming two weeks.