Hampshire have confirmed that Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi will not be available for the start of the Friends Life t20 competition but they are pushing hard to retain his services.
Afridi has had his No Objection Certificate (NOC) revoked by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after he announced his decision to retire from international cricket.
He was due to represent the Hampshire Royals, who open the competition by taking on Somerset in a repeat of last year's final at The Rose Bowl.
A statement from the club read as follows:
"It is with regret that Hampshire Cricket announces that Shahid Afridi - the Royals overseas signing for the Friends Life t20 competition - will not be available to play in tonight’s match against the Somerset Sabres at The Rose Bowl.
"It follows the decision by the Pakistan Cricket Board to revoke their No Objection Certificate, thus withdrawing their consent for Shahid to take part in the competition.
"The club would like to make it clear that although we respect this decision we have been, and continue to, urge the PCB to rethink this matter, and we are keen to have Shahid playing for the Royals at some point in the season."
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