Shahid Afridi led Galle Gladiators play their first match tonight

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Galle Gladiators will play their first match against Jaffna Stallions today 

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi will lead Galle Gladiators in their first match against Jaffna Stallions in Lanka Premier League (LPL) tonight at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota.

The tournament kicked off on Thursday with Colombo Kings facing Kandy Tuskers in the opening game. The former beat the latter in an exciting super-over thriller.

The second game of the league will be played tonight between Galle Gladiators and Jaffna Stallions.

Gladiators’ captain Shahid Afridi was likely to miss the first game courtesy his late arrival. The former Pakistani player had missed his scheduled initial flight to the country on Nov 23 and arrived a day later. 

However, after clearing his anti-bodies test today, Afridi is all set to be in action for the Purple Force. Gladiators' team manager, Nabeel Hashmi confirmed the news on Twitter. 

Talking to Geo Super earlier today, Nabeel had said, "Waiting for his [Afridi's] anti-bodies Test!! If it comes out ok he will play."

Both teams have also faced heavy set-back with their key players pulling out in last few days. Galle Gladiators lost Lasith Malinga and Sarfaraz Ahmed while Jaffna Stallions have to face the absence of the number one T20I batsman Dawid Malan.

Read: Lanka Premier League kicks off today

Malinga withdrew from the league due to personal reasons while Sarfaraz could not participate due to national duties. The absence of these two players will likely affect the team’s performance.

Six Pakistani players are part of the Nadeem Omar owned franchise including Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Ahsan Ali, Abdul Nasir, Azam Khan and Waqas Maqsood. The opponent team, however, has only two players from the country; Shoaib Malik and Usman Shinwari.

The match will start tonight at 7:30 pm (PST). All matches are shown live on Geo Super.

Read: Afridi replaces Sarfaraz as Galle Gladiators captain


Galle Gladiators

Shahid Afridi, Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Amir, Danushka Gunatilleka, Bhanuka Rajapakse, Akila Dananjaya, Milinda Siriwardena, Azam Khan, Lakshan Sandakan, Shehan Jayasuriya, Asitha Fernando, Nuwan Thushara, Mohammed Shiraz, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Chanaka Ruwansiri, Sahan Arachchi, Duvindu Tillakaratne, Chadwick Walton, Ashan Ali, Abdul Nasir, Waqas Maqsood

Jaffna Stallions

Thisara Perera, Johnson Charles, Wanidu Hasaranga, Shoaib Malik, Usman Shinwari, Avishka Fernando, Dananjaya de Silva, Suranga Lakmal, Binura Fernando, Minod Bhanuka, Chathuranga de Silva, Mahesh Theekshana, Charith Asalanka, Nuwandinu Fernando, Kanakaratnam Kapilraj, Thevendiram Dinoshan, Vijayakanth Vijayakanth, Kyle Abbott, Duanne Olivier, Tom Moores, Prabhath Jayasuriya, Sebastianpillai Vijeyaraj

LPL 2020: Galle Gladiators vs Jaffna Stallions Preview