Shahid Afridi to make Hampshire FL T20 return

Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi took 17 wickets in 10 matches matches during last year's T20

Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi will make his Hampshire return in 2012 to play in their FL t20 campaign for a second successive season.

Afridi enjoyed a successful stay with Hampshire in 2011, taking 17 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 11.17.

His efforts helped his side through the group stages unbeaten at home and to T20 finals day at Edgbaston.

"I am very pleased to be returning to Hampshire to complete some unfinished business," said the 31-year-old.

He added on Hampshire's website: "The semi-final loss is something that I aim to put right and I am sure with the backing of all the boys it is something we will achieve.

"I would like to thank Rod Bransgrove, Giles White and all the staff at the club for making me feel like one of the family last season and also for sticking by me in a tough situation.

"Hence, when the offers came in for the new season, there was only one club as far as me and my manager were concerned."

Afridi, who also signed for the club for the 2010 season but was unable to play because of international commitments, is expected to be available for the whole Twenty20 campaign and will qualify as Hampshire's second permitted overseas player alongside the already signed Australian batsman Simon Katich.

His announcement on Tuesday that he has withdrawn his retirement from the Pakistan squad is not expected to impact upon his availability for Hampshire.

Highlights from Afridi's 2011 campaign include taking his county-best bowling figures of 5-20 on his home debut against Gloucestershire and an impressive knock of 80 in the semi-final against Somerset.

"He had an enormous impact last season with us in the Twenty20 and we had a very good tournament so we welcome Shahid back next year and look forward to seeing him," said Hampshire manager Giles White.

"He fits into the changing room very well and he does the business on the pitch so we're very pleased."