Shaheen Afridi, Pakistan’s pace spearhead, has been ruled out of the upcoming Asia Cup as well as home series against England as he continues to recover from a knee injury. Afridi is with the Pakistan team in the Netherlands as part of his rehabilitation programme, being overseen by the trainer and the physiotherapist, and has been advised rest for four to six weeks following the latest scans and reports. Meanwhile, he will remain with the squad working with the medical team, the PCB stated in a release on Saturday (August 20).
Afridi picked up a right knee ligament injury while fielding during the first Test against Sri Lanka in July and has been out of action since. According to the PCB, he is expected to return to action in the T20I tri-series in New Zealand, which also involves Bangladesh, set to begin on October 7 – just 16 days from Pakistan’s opening T20 WC game against India.
“I have spoken with Shaheen and he is understandably upset with the news, but he is a brave young man who has vowed to come back strongly to serve his country and team. Although he has made progress during his rehabilitation in Rotterdam, it is now clear he will require more time and is likely to return to competitive cricket in October,” said PCB Chief Medical Officer Dr Najeebullah Soomro.
“PCB’s Sports & Exercise Medicine Department will be working closely with the player over the coming weeks to ensure his safe return to competitive cricket,” he added.
Pakistan begin their Asia Cup campaign against India on August 28, while they will host England in a seven-match T20I series from September 20 to October 2. Pakistan will announce Afridi’s replacement for the Asia Cup shortly.