Pakistan’s leading pacemaker Shaheen Afridi suffered a knee injury during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Final against England at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Shaheen hurt his troublesome knee while completing a catch during England’s successful run and left the pitch immediately after delivering a ball from his second spell.
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The injury deprived Pakistan of any chance of a second T20 World Cup title, as experienced all-rounder Ben Stokes quickly took over to guide England to victory.
The Men in Green are now in line to host England in three World Test Championship matches and Shaheen Afridi will be unavailable.
According to sources, it was decided to rest the 22-year-old rather than risk playing him. He will have a full medical examination upon his return to Pakistan and, in light of the reports, a rehabilitation plan for the left-handed pacemaker will be arranged.
The Haris Rauf pacemaker will make its debut and will replace the pacemaker in the left arm. Mohammad Abbas will be part of the Pakistan rhythm drummer with Naseem Shah.
The selection will consult the team’s management before the announcement of the squad, which is expected next week.
On the other hand, emerging spinner Abrar Ahmed is likely to be included in the squad as well. It seems unlikely that the experienced goalkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed will keep his place.
Due to the home series, only one goalkeeper, Muhammad Rizwan, can make the fifteen-member squad.
The England test team is due to arrive in Islamabad on November 27 as per the previously announced schedule. These days, with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s possible long march, the visiting team’s schedule is also being re-evaluated.
In this regard, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is waiting for the advice of the government. According to plan B, the first test can be played in Karachi, the second in Multan and the third test again in Karachi.