Shaheen Afridi ruled out of Asia Cup 2022; Big Blow for Pakistan

Pakistan speedster Shaheen Shah Afridi has been ruled out of the upcoming Asia Cup 2022 with a knee injury.
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Pakistan begin their campaign against arch-rivals India on August 28 in Dubai.

Pakistan have suffered a major blow ahead of the upcoming Asia Cup 2022, with left-arm quick Shaheen Afridi ruled out of the competition with knee injury. The 22-year-old had sustained a right knee ligament injury while fielding during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle, and was subsequently ruled out of the next game. He is currently travelling with the ODI team in the Netherlands, undergoing rehab under the supervision of of the team support and medical staff.

He will stay with the team till the completion of the tour, and replacement in the Asia Cup squad is expected to be named soon.

"Shaheen Shah Afridi has been advised 4-6 weeks rest by the PCB Medical Advisory Committee and independent specialists following latest scans and reports." an official release from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) stated. "This means Shaheen has been ruled out of the ACC T20 Asia Cup and home series against England, but is expected to return to competitive cricket in October with the New Zealand T20I tri-series, which will be followed by the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Australia 2022."

PCB Chief Medical Officer, Dr Najeebullah Soomro, said: “I have spoken with Shaheen and he is understandably upset with the news, but he is brave young man who has vowed to come back strongly to serve his country and team. Although he has made progress during his rehabilitation in Rotterdam, it is now clear he will require more time and is likely to return to competitive cricket in October.

“PCB’s Sports & Exercise Medicine Department will be working closely with the player over the coming weeks to ensure his safe return to competitive cricket.”

Pakistan will take on arch-rivals India at the Dubai International Stadium on August 28. When the two teams last met - in a Group Game of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 at the same venue last October - Shaheen had returned a game defining 3/31, dismissing Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli to set up Pakistan's historic 10-wicket win. It was their first victory over the Men in Blue in World Cups after 12 failed attempts previously.