NEWS Shaheen Afridi on struggles to return to fitness – Cricket

Shaheen Afridi on struggles in regaining fitness


Shaheen Afridi on struggles getting back to health

Lahore (Web Desk) – A lanky teenager named Shaheen Shah Afridi received the international cap from Pakistan legend Wasim Akram at the National Bank Cricket Arena in Karachi in early April 2018. Over the past two months – in his first Pakistan Super League (PSL) season – he has shown his talent, which has catapulted him into the national team. The highlight was his five wickets against Multan Sultans in Dubai, which made him one of only two bowlers that season to take five wickets in an innings.

Shaheen never looked back from that moment, establishing himself as Pakistan’s all-round bowler and subsequently becoming the leader of Pakistan’s bowling attack. Such was his effectiveness against Pakistan, who scored the most wickets (204) before injuring his right knee when he landed awkwardly while diving over the boundary in the first Galle Test last July, only Second to Australia’s Pat Cummins’ 209 for all three international formats. He was so deadly that his batting average of 35.4 was the best in international cricket among fast bowlers with at least 1000+ overs.

However, a fourth morning of that Test put his progressing career on hold. Shaheen, who returned in Pakistan colors at last year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, grew his bowling form in proportion to the games he played in before completing the uncharacteristic turn of the famous Harry Brook catch in the final to bring him back. Rehabilitation Center.

While the sight of Shaheen limping off the pitch broke the hearts of millions of Pakistanis, it was the start of a struggle for a bowler who had done nothing but bowl since his Pakistan debut.

“Sometimes I feel like giving up,” Shaheen told PCB Digital, who has now checked all the necessary conditions to return to cricket. “I only worked one muscle and it didn’t improve. During recovery, I often said to myself ‘this is enough, I can’t do this anymore’.

“But then I used to watch my bowling on YouTube and see how well I was bowling and that motivated me and I told myself ‘try harder’…for a fast bowler missing the plate because of injury The ball game is frustrating.”

While not a good time for injury, Shaheen’s arrival comes just as Pakistan are planning their biggest home season in over a decade, with seven T20Is and three Test matches against England followed by two Test matches and three Test matches against England. One-day international against New Zealand. Shaheen missed all 15 games.

“It’s tough when you miss a home game because of an injury,” he said. “I even missed seven England T20Is before our home Test season. I was more distressed by missing Tests because I prefer Test cricket. A bowler is judged by his performance in Test cricket On balance, I want to take the wicket against England.”

Was there any moment during the 2022-23 home season that made him want to don the Pakistan team colors? “While I am watching [Multan Test] The race and our tailenders couldn’t finish the race.I want to hit a few sixes there and finish it for Pakistan,” he said with a laugh. “Also, when they [England] Scoring a lot and I want to have my say with the ball. “

Shaheen made sure to stay connected with the bowlers. “It’s hard to switch from white ball to red ball cricket because the demands of the Test format are totally different from limited play. I’m in touch with the boys on the phone. Naseem’s bowling is very fast, mentally he’s very sharp and understands his Needs to be done. I used to talk to Harris Lauf on a daily basis. I also kept in touch with the other bowlers who took the Test.”

Lahore’s Qalandars captain has the most wickets (70) among players who made their PSL debut in 2018. He ranks third on the list of players with the most caps in tournament history behind Wahab Riaz (103) and Hasan Ali (81), who played 27 games and 14 more than him.

In a year when Pakistan will start their third cycle of the ICC World Test Championships and play 50 matches in the Asia Cup and World Cup, Shaheen couldn’t ask for a better comeback stage than the PSL, which will fully test his fitness and skills.

“PSL is one of the best leagues in the world and the quality of the cricket tests your abilities as a bowler. I am delighted to be back here and look forward to all the challenges it will present me. Thanks Almighty, I’m doing fine. I’m hitting the bowling workload and fitness requirement box.”

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