March 29, 2023

Pakistan are facing the prospect of losing Shaheen Shah Afridi for a longish spell. He is likely to miss the home series against England and New Zealand, between December 2022 and January 2023, after injuring himself during the Men’s T20 World Cup final in Melbourne on Sunday. It is understood that he has aggravated the knee injury that he had just recovered from.
Haris Rauf is understood to be in line for a shot at red-ball cricket for the first time as Afridi’s replacement.
Afridi was, in any case, expected to sit out the England Test series to rest. He had been out of action for three-and-a-half months for treatment and recovery following the injury, which he picked up while fielding during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle in July.

He was brought back for the World Cup, and started Pakistan’s campaign at the marquee tournament, against India, before reaching full fitness. But, as the tournament progressed, he appeared to have hit his rhythm, reflected in returns of 4 for 22 against Bangladesh, 3 for 14 against South Africa, 3 and 24 in the semi-final against New Zealand, and 1 for 13 in the final against England in 2.1 overs.

In that final, at the MCG, Afridi ran in from long-off to take a sharp catch, sending back Harry Brook, but as he slid low to hold the chance, his knee seemed to collapse. He was evidently in pain, and had to go off the field. That was in the 13th over. He returned an over later, ran in gingerly to send down one delivery, but couldn’t carry on.

His right knee is currently in a brace.

The PCB, which confirmed the injury, said it would take some time to properly asses the injury before providing more information on the matter.

Afridi will fly back home via Dubai with the rest of the Pakistan squad today.

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