Pakistan had faced a massive blow last month when Shaheen Afridi was ruled out for more than a month with the star pacer missing out on Asia Cup and the home series against England. And even while he has travelled with the Pakistan squad to New Zealand for the tri-series which began on Thursday, his participation remains doubtful. But will Shaheen, who has been named in the T20 World Cup squad, be fit for the tournament and for the match against India? Well, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja gave a massive update on the same on Friday.
Shaheen had injured his knee while fielding during the Test series against Sri Lanka in August, following which he was ruled out for 6 weeks. He had immediately left for London for rehabilitation but is now back with the Pakistan squad in Christchurch and has been named in the T20 World Cup side as well with the management hopeful of his return to fitness.
Speaking to Dawn, Raja revealed that he had had a word with the left-arm pacer recently who feels “110 per cent fit” for the T20 World Cup and revealed that Shaheen plans to play a couple of practice matches before being “battle ready” for the blockbuster match against India.
“Shaheen se mere parso baat hui thi. Woh kehe rahein hain ki baare arse me nehi huya hu. So progress bohit acha hain. Doctors ne videos bhijwayi hui he. 90 per cent pe hain. Wohi samajhte he ki woh fit he and battle ready honge. Kyunki yeh knee injury jo hotein he woh baare technical and nazuk hotein he. So humara yeh opinion tha ki jab tak woh 110 per cent fit na ho jae hum risk nehi lenge. But Shaheen kehe rahe hain ji iss waqt woh 110 per cent fit he. Aur bole ki woh practice matches khelenge and India keliye bilkul taiyar rahunga,” he said.
Pakistan will face India on October 23 in their World Cup opener at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.