Cricket

Pakistan frets over Shaheen Afridi’s fitness

Shaheen Afridi.

Shaheen Afridi. | Photo Credit: AFP

Pakistan will look to collect crucial World Cup qualifying points when they tackle the Netherlands in a three-match ODI series from Tuesday but will have a wary eye on the fitness of star bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi.

The 22-year-old paceman suffered a knee injury on the recent tour of Sri Lanka, a worrying setback with the Asia Cup, and a meeting with old rivals India coming up at the end of the month.

Pakistan team bosses do not want to overload a fast bowler who has already played 97 times across all three formats since his international debut just four years ago.

"We're taking a couple of doctors with us to take care of Shaheen and want him to play a game against Netherlands to see if he's fit and ready for the Asia Cup," said Pakistan skipper Babar Azam.

"But we have 11 trump cards. Each of them can be match winners on their day. I have faith in every one of them, whether batters or bowlers."

The series in Rotterdam was postponed due to Covid in 2020.

It forms part of the 13-nation Super League from where the top seven teams plus hosts India will qualify for the 2023 World Cup.

Pakistan are currently third with 90 points, having beaten a formidable Australia 2-1 in their last ODI series at home.

Failure to make the top seven would mean having to negotiate a perilous route through a qualifying competition.

"There are important Super League points at stake which we can't lose," said Azam who may be stunned to find Europe baking in a heatwave.

"I think the conditions will be similar to England. The weather will be cooler so we have practiced with the air conditioning on indoors, perhaps that helps simulate the conditions," he said Thursday on the team's departure for Europe.


Our code of editorial values

  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.

Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 10:32:16 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/pakistan-frets-over-shaheen-afridis-fitness/article65772800.ece