To play two matches for Kathmandu Kings XI


Former Pakistan national team skipper Shahid Afridi arrived in Kathmandu today to play in the Everest Premier League beginning on Saturday at the TU Stadium.

The world-renowned cricketer is an international iconic player of Kathmandu Kings XI, one of the six teams of the franchise-based Twenty20 tournament, and he will play two matches in the league.

Pakistan Ambassador to Nepal, Syed Haider Shah and EPL officials welcomed Afridi at the Tribhuvan International Airport. Afridi thanked the team management for inviting him to Nepal and said he felt like coming to home. "First of all, I want to thank the management of the league who invited me. I am very happy and I feel like I'm in Pakistan. It's like a home," said the 44-yearold cricketer, who is fondly known as Boom Boom Afridi for his fearless batting.

"I have heard a lot about Nepal, Nepali people and great hospitality as well beauty of this country," said Afridi.

"Trust me I am very very happy to be here and insallah I will spend a good time."

Afridi said supporting each other was the need of the hour.

"Supporting each other is the main thing for me. That's why I am here, to support Nepal and Nepali cricket. As a professional athlete, we have to support each other especially in difficult and tough time," he said, indicating towards the withdrawals of Pakistan tour by a couple of countries. "... now off to Nepal to promote sports and cricket in the region.

I hope other athletes also come to my country with the message of sports," he posted on Twitter before embarking on Nepal visit.

"I will play two matches here. I am running a foundation and we have some initiatives to complete," he added.

Afridi held the world record for the fastest One Day International century, in 37 deliveries.

The record stood for 17 years before being broken by New Zealand's Corey Anderson, who got three figures in 36 balls against the West Indies in 2014. South African AB de Villiers currently holds the record of fastest century against the West Indies from 31 balls.

In bowling, Afridi has taken 395 ODI wickets, 48 Test wickets and 98 in T20Is. The fourth edition of the EPL is slated for September 25 to October 9.

Malla withdraws

KATHMANDU: National team skipper Gyanendra Malla on Thursday withdrew from Everest Premier League citing personal issues.

Malla joined former skipper Paras Khadka and national team vice-captain Dipendra Singh Airee along with veteran bowler Basant Regmi to snub the franchise-based T20 cricket tournament. While Airee is injured, three other players have pulled out due to personal issues. Lalitpur Patriots have appointed national team member Kushal Bhurtel as skipper for the tournament, which is beginning at the TU Stadium on Saturday.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 24 2021, of The Himalayan Times.