ISLAMABAD: Shaheen Shah Afridi could be seen playing the second warm-up match against Afghanistan at The Gabba (Brisbane) on October 19 which will be his first competitive match since he broke down fielding during the two-match Test series in Sri Lanka in July.
Afridi suffered knee injury during the fourth day of first Test against Sri Lanka and had to miss the second Test and even Asia Cup.
Since then, he has been struggling to get fit and ready for international cricket.
‘The News’ has learnt from well-placed sources that Shaheen is all set to stage a return to competitive cricket with a second warm-up match against Afghanistan to be played at The Gabba (Brisbane) on October 19.
“Though Shaheen is scheduled to land in Australia from England on October 15, he is unlikely to figure in the first warm-up against England on October 17 at the same venue. However, in all probabilities, the left-arm pacer is set to return to competitive cricket with the warm-up against Afghanistan on October 19 ahead of the all important match against arch-rivals India at the MCG on October 23. We want fit and ready Shaheen for the all-important outing as the victory against India will set the tone for Pakistan’s World Cup campaign in a big way,” the source said.
Meanwhile, reports emerging from London on Shaheen Afridi’s fitness are encouraging with both specialist Dr Zafar and Dr Imtiaz Iqbal hopeful of his early return to nets within next few days.
Though Shaheen Shah’s roadmap of making a comeback at nets for training is around October 1, he could be seen starting net training with a reduced run-up during the last days of September.
Sources said Afridi has almost regained his fitness and all he has to do is to wait for a few more days before starting bowling in the nets. “He has regained fitness which is evident from his exercises and daily routine. In all probabilities, Shaheen will be seen back in the nets in London by September 28,” said a source.
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