Shaheen Shah Afridi, the ace Pakistan pacer, has been declared fit again and will play the first match of T20 World Cup 2022 against India on October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), says PCB boss Ramiz Raja. Afridi missed the Asia Cup 2022 and England T20Is at home. He is not part of the ongoing New Zealand T20I tri-series that involves Bangladesh as well. Speaking to Pakistan channel Dawn News, Ramiz informed that Afridi will be back for World Cup. But there is a bad news as leg-spinner Usman Qadir has injured himself.
“Usman Qadir injured, hair line fracture in finger, we will see what option we have, Fakhar Zaman also getting better, I feel he can be very important, but its a call of team management about him and X1” Ramiz Raja told Dawn News.
Calm before the storm _ pic.twitter.com/pLtd85tOyR
— Shaheen Shah Afridi (@iShaheenAfridi) October 6, 2022
Shaheen had a trouble knee since the Test series vs Sri Lanka in July. He was travelling with team before it got worse. He then went to London to begin his recovery. At that time, his to be father-in-law and former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi had revealed that Shaheen was spending his own money in London, from the medical expenses to accomodation expenses. Later, Raja broke his silence and said that all his expenses will be reimbused by the PCB.
Shaheen’s return is a big boost for Pakistan who are dependent on their bowling attack to win the second title. They alread possess a great pace attack, in form of Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Wasim. On the other hand, India received a huge blow when BCCI announced that their ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah won’t take part in the upcoming World Cup due to a back injury. His replacement is yet to be named as selectors await the conclusion of the ODIs series vs South Africa where many key contenders like Avesh Khan, Mohammed Siraj and Deepak Chahar are playing. Mohammed Shami is another option who is also in the reserves.