Shaheen Afridi unlikely to play home Tests against England, New Zealand after knee injury resurfaces
Afridi's knee injury resurfaced during England's chase in his side's T20 WC final while taking a catch. He could only deliver 2.1 overs out of his four
Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi is unlikely to be available for the Test series against England and New Zealand through December-January after he injured his right knee during his side's ICC T20 World Cup final against England on Sunday. As per ESPNCricinfo, Pakistan side faces another phase of Shaheen being out of the game for a significant length of time. An official diagnosis is expected only after the Pakistan team returns home.
Afridi was in any case, expected to sit on bench during the England Test series starting from next month. That was a part of his gradual return from the original knee injury that he had faced during a series against Sri Lanka in July. In the time for T20 World Cup, Shaheen completed his rehab and became a part of Pakistan's squad for the tournament. While he struggled during the first two matches, he started to regain his rhythm later and played a vital role in his side's journey to the final. With a total of 11 wickets, he was Pakistan's joint-highest wicket-taker in the tournament.
The injury resurfaced during the 13th over of England's chase while he took a running catch to dismiss batter Harry Brook. He was helped off the field by the physio and doctor. Shaheen returned and tried to bowl the remainder of his spell, but could not carry on after bowling one ball. He could bowl only 2.1 overs out of his four overs. His right knee is currently believed to be in a brace. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has stated that it will take some time to make a proper assessment of the injury and give more information. Shaheen will be flying back home via Mumbai with the rest of the side on Monday.
Pacer Haris Rauf could get his shot in red-ball cricket for the first time as replacement of the pace spearhead. PCB's handling of his injury has faced immense criticism. After the series against Sri Lanka, he travelled with the side to the Netherlands with hopes that he would recover, but the swelling worsened and he was announced to be out of action for four to six weeks. He also travelled to UAE for Asia Cup and another attempt was made to get his rehab going. But the medical scans confirmed an injury in posterior cruciate ligament. It was decided that he would travel to the UK for further rehab and work with doctors on the PCB Medical panel. This caused him to miss the Asia Cup and seven-match T20I series against England at home in September. (ANI)
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