Karachi: The top Pakistani cricketers will be missing from action in the national Super Eights Twenty20 tournament with the likes of Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq and Wahab Riaz opting to play in English County season.
Afridi will turn up for Hampshire, forcing the Karachi City Cricket Association to hand the rein of the team to Test discard fast bowler Mohammad Sami.
"Due to Afridi not being available now we have also been forced to make changes in our squad and bring in two spinners, Azam Hussain and Haris Ayaz," KCCA President, Siraj-ul-Islam Bukhari said.
Lahore Lions, the defending champions, will miss Riaz and Razzaq.
"Both of them are playing for English counties at the moment with the permission of the board," one official said.
Rana Naved and Yasir Arafat are also expected to miss the domestic tournament because of their commitments in England.
The top eight teams of the national T20 championship qualify to play in Super Eights, to be held in Faisalabad from June 24.
Already a number of prominent players have been forced to miss the event as the Karachi and Lahore teams, under new regulations, can only field one side each. In the past they fielded two sides each in the national T20 event.
"Those players who played for the other Karachi and Lahore sides are automatically not eligible to play the super eights," the official said.
However present captain Misbah-ul-Haq and former captain Shoaib Maliik will be seen in action for the Faisalabad and Sialkot sides.