Pakistan's flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi has pulled out of the National Super Eight T20 championship which begins in Rawalpindi on Sunday even as all the top cricketers of the country are taking part in the week-long event.
"Not only Afridi but Fawad Alam has also pulled out of the Karachi Dolphins squad at the last moment," Siraj-ul-Islam Bukhari, the president of the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) said on Friday.
"It is a big setback for us because Afridi is a top performer for us. He had initially turned down the offer to lead the Karachi Dolphins team and only wanted to play as a ordinary player. But now he has also refused to play because of some personal commitments," Bukhari said.
Clearly upset with the pull outs, the KCCA president said Afridi had now informed him that he was committed to attend some charity event in the United States.
"Similarly Fawad Alam has also pulled out because he is getting married."
Bukhari said the absence of the two players would be felt by the Karachi side.
The super eight T20 competition which was launched last year by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has proven to be a big crowd puller and is one of the most popular events on the domestic circuit.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq and his team-mates, Mohammad Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal will turn out for the Faisalabad Wolves.