Shaheen Afridi 90 percent ready for T20 World Cup: Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Ramiz Raja

File image of Ramiz Raja© Twitter

Shaheen Shah Afridi, the spearhead of Pakistan’s Pace, is 90 per cent ready for the upcoming T20 World Cup but his availability will depend on how he plays in Australia’s two warm-up games, said PCB chairman Ramiz Raja. Afridi, 22, will join the national team in Australia on Saturday after completing his rehabilitation program for a knee injury under the supervision of the PCB Medical Advisory Committee. He will be available for the warm-up games against England and Afghanistan on October 17 and 19 respectively.

“I’ve spoken to him, we’re in touch with his doctors and the feedback we’ve had is that he’s 90 percent ready,” Raja said.

“But knee injuries can be delicate and technical and we’ll have to see if he feels any pain after the warm-up games. For his part, he says he’s ready and I think we’re ready too.” Pakistan will start their campaign against India on October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“I would like to say that the mechanics of the World Cup are such that even as an independent observer, I can say with confidence that our team can become champions. We have a very good team.” The former Test captain said his ambition as chief executive remains to make Pakistan the number one team in all three formats.

There were calls for the opening pairing of Muhammad Rizwan and Babar Azam to be split, but Raja made it clear there was no reason for such a move.

“I’m surprised we’re talking about separating them when the topic of conversation for each team is a solid opening pair. The three points for a team’s success is a good opening pair, and we have good bowlers too.

“Yes, the team sometimes disappoints us, but they have a 75 percent success rate, which is why fans and our commercial partners work with them. They’re medium-order problems, but I see no reason to change anything that’s worked for us until now.”

Promoted

The PCB boss said the ongoing Pakistan Junior League and the planned women’s league are part of a process to produce healthy players and ambassadors of the game and also to strengthen the structure for women’s and junior cricket.

“There is a lot of interest in the PJL and the women’s league, even from abroad, and I’ve seen the PJL games and I’ve already seen a player or two who can play directly for Pakistan even now.”

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