Shaheen Afridi paid £5,000 by Hundred despite ditching competition to play in Canada

Shaheen Shah Afridi – Shaheen Afridi paid £5,000 by Hundred despite ditching competition to play in Canada
Shaheen Shah Afridi is one of the most lethal pace bowlers in the world and his absence is a major blow for the Hundred - Reuters/Hamad Mohammed

Shaheen Shah Afridi will still earn £5,000 from this season’s Hundred competition, despite pulling out of his contract with Welsh Fire and subsequently signing for the Global T20 Canada.

The Pakistani, one of the world’s premier quick bowlers, was re-signed by Welsh Fire – in the £100,000 category for the competition, the second-highest band – after playing six games for the side in 2023. As Telegraph Sport first revealed, Afridi pulled out last month, amid interest from the Global T20 Canada, which runs July 25-Aug 11. The Hundred runs almost concurrently, July 23-Aug 18.

Despite pulling out of the Hundred, Afridi still stands to earn £5,000 from the competition. All players who sign for the competition receive a fee worth five per cent of their contract, in exchange for their image rights. Telegraph Sport understands that players are able to keep this share of their contract even if they pull out. This means that Afridi will effectively be paid not to play.

Such a payment comes even with English cricket facing financial pressures on multiple fronts – including the grass-roots game, facilities at domestic sides, the women’s game and salaries for leading players in the men’s national team.

Despite withdrawing from the competition to play in a rival league at the same time, Afridi will not face any sanctions by the Hundred, and will be free to be drafted once again for the 2025 competition. His withdrawal meant that Welsh Fire effectively wasted one of their two slots for players at £100,000 – the second-highest price band in the competition.

New Zealand quick bowler Matt Henry, who also represented Welsh Fire last year, has been confirmed as Afridi’s replacement. But replacement players do not get the initial tranche of image rights that players receive when signing, meaning that Henry’s contract will be worth £95,000 rather than £100,000, the original value of Afridi’s deal.

The prospect of being able to spend more time at home, with the Global T20 Canada nine days shorter than the Hundred, is believed to have been a factor in Afridi’s decision. He will represent Toronto Nationals in Canada.

Afridi’s withdrawal was a major blow for the Hundred, depriving the competition of one of its best and most marketable players. The Hundred effectively being outbid for talent by the Canadian league adds to a growing belief that leading players will have to be paid more if they are to be attracted to the league.