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Shadab fit to feature in World Cup: PCB

Sports

May 15, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s World Cup hopes got a big boost as spinner Shadab Khan has been declared fit to join the touring squad in England following the latest blood tests conducted on the player.

‘The News’ in its May 8 edition stated Shadab will be getting fit by the time World Cup starts in England on May 30.

The spinner was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, a day ahead of the team’s departure for England for five-match One-Day series and for World Cup. An important member of Pakistan World Cup armory, Shadab then was sent for treatment to England where he was advised complete rest for two weeks.

A source close to Shadab told ‘The News’ last week that he had already attained fitness and it was just a matter of time before he would be seen joining the team in England.

On Tuesday, the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) handout confirmed his departure for England on May 16.

“Shadab has been declared fit to join the team in England. He now leaves on May 16 to be part of the World Cup

team after completing the required procedures.”

It has been confirmed that Shadab tests conducted on Tuesday found no virus of any kind.

“He is as fit and his blood tests are as clear as any other athlete’s should have been. It is good news for Pakistan cricket and the team that is gunning for the title in England with the opening match against West Indies at Bristol on May 31.”

Shadab has been declared fit for the ICC World Cup 2019 after his latest test results reflected zero viral load in his blood, the Pakistan Cricket Board said.

The spinner will consult Dr Patrick Kennedy on Friday, before joining the team in Bristol on Monday.

However, Shadab’s appearances in the World Cup 2019 warm-up matches, scheduled for May 24 and 26 against Afghanistan and Bangladesh respectively, are subject to his match fitness and the team management’s decision.

Shadab said: “I am delighted to know that the blood tests are negative and I can now return to competitive cricket. I was always very confident that I would fully recover from the viral infection and will be available for the World Cup.

“Having played and won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, I understand the importance, flavour and glamour of global events and what success in such events means to the players and the public. I am looking forward to featuring in the World Cup and will leave no stone unturned in helping Pakistan put up a strong show.

“It has been difficult to stay away from international cricket and watch Pakistan play outstandingly — both in Cardiff and Southampton. As a professional cricketer, you want to be part of such games. In both the matches, Pakistan have shown their capability and ability, and I am sure with some fine tuning, we will be ready to take on the world.”

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said: “It is fabulous news and on behalf of the Pakistan cricket team, I look forward to welcoming Shadab back in the squad. Shadab is one of the finest of his generation and is an influential figure in the team. His presence in the dressing room and on the field of play keeps the side geared up and motivated.

“Shadab’s inclusion also balances what is a young but extremely talented squad. I understand it will take Shadab some time to be back at his brilliant best as he has not played cricket for a few weeks, but our first game is on May 31 and he has got two weeks to regain complete form and fitness.

“He is a brave lad and the way he has fought back to regain fitness is a testament to his attitude and approach, which gives us the encouragement that he will be hopefully available for selection for our World Cup opener.”

PCB Managing Director Wasim Khan said: “The PCB also had a duty of care towards Shadab and that’s precisely why we went for the best specialist in England. So, from that perspective, we are all very happy that he has received a clean chit and can resume normal cricket activities.

“Shadab is also one of the players who is respected immensely by all the participating sides as he is a quality bowler, fielder and batsman. I am sure his availability will give tremendous confidence and boost to the morale and spirit of the Pakistan cricket team ahead of the pinnacle 50-over competition.”

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