Afridi to play Deccan's 2nd IPL tie

Pakistan's flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi will leave for India shortly after the Twenty20 International against Bangladesh on Sunday.

updated: April 20, 2008 08:51 IST
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Pakistan's flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi is in a hurry to join the Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League and will leave for India shortly after the Twenty20 international against Bangladesh on Sunday.

Afridi confirmed he would be leaving in time to play his team's second game against Delhi Daredevils on April 22.

"I will miss tomorrow's match against Kolkata Knight Riders due to my commitments with Pakistan but I am keen to play in the second match," Afridi said.

The rest of the Pakistan players signed up to play in the IPL will leave around the 24th as they want to spend a few days with their families before going to India.

Mohammad Hafeez, who is not in the Pakistan team, played for the Kolkata team in the inaugural IPL match on Saturday.

Afridi said he had watched the first match of the IPL and the concept had already excited him.

"I am looking forward to play in the IPL because it is something new and getting to play alongside the best players in the world is going to be a unique experienced," he said.

Afridi said he had a lot of regard and respect for the cricketing abilities of Hyderabad captain, VVS Laxman.

"In the past we have played against each other now I would love to perform under him for the team."

With fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar stopped from playing for the Kolkata team due to the five-year ban on him by the Pakistan board, Afridi is now clearly Pakistan's biggest draw
in the IPL.

"I think the IPL not only augurs well for players as far as earning money is concerned but is also an ideal platform to learn a lot and improve skills," Afridi said.