Afridi deal will not break the Steelbacks’ bank

Shahid Afridi has joined Northamptonshire for six T20 matches this summer

Shahid Afridi has joined Northamptonshire for six T20 matches this summer

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David Ripley insists Northamptonshire are not paying ‘big bucks’ to attract Pakistan star Shahid Afridi to the club.

The County this week announced the 34-year-old, who has a reputation as one of the most destructive batsmen and economical bowlers in one-day cricket, will be joining them for the first six matches of the NatWest Blast.

But the signing was confirmed just a few days after an EGM saw members agree to allow the sale of property owned by the club in a bid to ease the financial problems they are in.

It has led some supporters to question where the money has come from.

However, Ripley says it is not a budget-busting move.

“Financially it could be thought he is coming here for big money,” the director of cricket said.

“That is definitely not the case. It is absolutely not big bucks.

“It was done from outside funding.

“We have cash from outside the budget for specific things and we felt signing Shahid was worth it.

“It was a case of right place, right time.

“Azhar (Mohammad Azharullah) knows Pakistan cricket well and had a way of getting in touch with Shahid’s agent.

“From there it all happened very quickly and is a deal that suits both parties well.

“His agent is very positive about the chance for him to come and play for us and we are delighted to have a world-class player available to us.”

Ripley believes Afridi’s presence will offer more than just the crowd-pulling fireworks he shows with the bat and control he offers with the ball.

“He will bring a great deal of experience to our team,” Ripley said of the man who has made nearly 500 international appearances for his country across the game’s three formats.

“Obviously Alex (Wakely) is a very good captain and did a tremendous job for us when we won the T20 in the season before last.

“But I do know he appreciated having Cameron White around then with the assistance he offered.

“I expect it will the same with Shahid who has a huge amount of experience at the very top level of the game.”