Shahid Afridi signs up with South Australia

Aiming a berth in the 2nd edition of the Champions League, South Australia has signed up glitzy Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi for their domestic T20 tournament, starting in December 2009.

Shahid AfridiSouth Australia officials believe that the inclusion of the hard-hitting all-rounder would increase their chances of making the final of the domestic big bash tournament, which will make them suitable for the cash-rich event.

Afridi has swapped Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis in the Redbacks' squad.

"We narrowly missed out on finals last season and these signings are definitely a boost to our quest to qualify for the Champions League 2009," SACA High Performance Manger, Jamie Cox said.

"I have made no secret of the fact that I view the Big Bash competition as the most commercial on the domestic calendar and the inaugural Champions' League also provides fantastic opportunities for young players to showcase their skills on the world stage," he added.

Afridi was the player of the tournament in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 and has a unbelievable strike rate of 147 in 24 T20 internationals. He also has best bowling figures of 4/11.

Afridi has played 285 ODI matches with strike rate of 110. He has also taken 264 wickets with best figures of 6/38 against Australia.

Glenn McGrath set to replace Daniel Vettori for Delhi

The Delhi Daredevils are set to change the injured Daniel Vettori with Glenn McGrath in their squad.

Glenn McGrathThe Daredevils' Chief Operating Officer, Amrit Mathur was quoted as saying, ""We have sought the approval from the organizers to replace the injured players and have given the names of McGrath and Yogesh Nagar, who were part of the new squad of 20."

The other players who are injured for Delhi Daredevils are AB de Villiers and Paul Collingwood.

The requests have just been proposed, and McGrath is expected to enter in Delhi pending their approval.

It may be reminded that after performing outstandingly in the inaugural IPL in India, McGrath was benched for the whole duration of the 2nd edition in South Africa 2009 and had even reportedly made comments about not returning for the IPL 2010. However, for now it seems McGrath is eager to fly in to the aid of Delhi.

No pressure on Deccan Chargers: Adam Gilchrist

Former Australian Opener Adam Gilchrist, who led the Deccan Chargers team to brilliance in the Indian Premier League-II earlier this year, is raring to imitate the feet in Champions League Twenty20, commencing from October 8.

Adam Gilchrist, who expressed watchful optimism about their performance in the upcoming 12-team tournament, insisted that the Hyderabad-based team is not moving any "extra burden" on the run-up to Champions League.

"I think there are expectations always at all times to do well," Adam Gilchrist said.

Meanwhile, the tournament is giving yet another chance to the controversial Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds to prove himself, as he is eyeing cashing in on the "benefit of taking rest".

Another member of the team, India cricketer VVS Laxman also said that his endeavour would be to put up his best in the upcoming tournament.

"I want to give my best in the tournament whenever I get the opportunity," he said.

Deccan Chargers would start their battle by taking on Somerset here on October 10.