Shaheen Shah Afridi, a left-arm fast bowler, will begin his recovery on Monday in Karachi under the supervision of the national men’s team’s medical staff, according to a statement released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Shaheen hasn’t played since suffering a knee injury when catching Harry Brook at a pivotal moment in the Men’s T20 World Cup final against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in November 2022.
This meant that Pakistan missed out on their strike bowler for the rest of the match, who bowled only 2.1 overs in the finale. The knee injury and then an appendectomy surgery meant Shaheen has missed out on Pakistan’s Tests against England and New Zealand at home. PCB added that while providing Shaheen top-notch care, the move will allow the medical staff to track his progression and pave way for his smooth return to action. Shaheen had earlier missed out on Asia Cup and Pakistan’s seven T20Is against England at home in 2022 due to the knee injury.
PCB also said that the interim selection committee, headed by former captain Shahid Afridi, and the Pakistan team management have invited right-arm fast bowler Haris Rauf to be assessed by the team’s medical staff so that a decision on his availability for the three ODIs against New Zealand – to be played next week in Karachi – can be made.
Rauf has been out of action since suffering a grade two strain in his right quad on Test debut against England at Rawalpindi and was rehabilitating at the National High Performance Center in Lahore. The three ODIs will now be played on January 9, 11 and 13 at the National Bank Cricket Arena in Karachi. After the conclusion of the tour, New Zealand will travel to India for a tour of three ODIs and as many T20Is from January 18 to February 1.