Veteran Pakistan speedster Umar Gul has highlighted that young pacer Shaheen Afridi will be extremely clinical for Pakistan in their aspirations for the ICC T20 World Cup, slated to be held later this year. Shaheen is currently out of the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 after sustaining a knee injury during Pakistan’s tour to Sri Lanka. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed that the 22-year-old has been sent to London to complete his rehabilitation process.
Shaheen was initially added to Pakistan’s squad for the Netherlands ODIs and Asia Cup, but he couldn’t take part in either of the series. Mohammad Hasnain was roped in as Shaheen’s replacement for the Asia Cup.
His injury brought about a lot of criticism on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for not utilising him properly. The criticism primarily compromised that Shaheen should have been rested adequately.
Umar Gul urges PCB to take care of Shaheen Afridi’s workload
Gul, who retired from all forms of cricket back in October 2020, urged the Pakistan team management to take care of their fast bowlers. He also kept his fingers crossed regarding Shaheen’s fitness ahead of the World Cup.
“Pakistan has very good fast bowlers. The bench is good, and the players need to be taken care of. Shaheen Shah Afridi will be very important for Pakistan in the T20 World Cup, and he must be fit for the event,” Gul was quoted as saying in Cricket Pakistan.
Commenting on Shaheen’s absence and Pakistan’s lack of ability to cope with it, Umar Gul said that although Pakistan has a strong bowling unit without Shaheen, it is not the same.
Gul further added, “Everyone said Shaheen was being overloaded as he continued to play but he also performed well. Hasan Ali is getting in and out, and he is not in the same form as before. He has given very good performances in the past.”