KARACHI: Pakistan’s ace fast-bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi has opened up about his tough road to recovery after suffering a knee injury.
The left-armer sustained a right knee ligament injury during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle in July. After full recovery, he returned to action during the T20 World Cup 2022 warm-up matches against England and Afghanistan, respectively.
Speaking in a video, alongside fellow pacer Haris Rauf, released by the Pakistan Cricket Board, Shaheen said that he had the support of his teammates during the time he was off the field.
“It was very a tough phase in the rehab process and I missed playing on the field. But despite being away from the game I did call my teammates at times and spoke to them,” said Afridi.
The 22-year-old also stated that he experienced a lot of pain during his recovery period but he had his eyes set on playing the T20 World Cup 2022 for Pakistan.
“At first, I could not even walk. But the aim was to play in the T20 World Cup and my focus was on doctors’ advice,” he said.
“I had never had such an injury and the feeling of walking with braces was quite difficult. I used to experience pain but took things slowly and then reaped benefits,” he added.
Shaheen also said that patience was key while recovering from the injury, while also thanking his fans for their continued support.
“Slowly I regained 80 per cent fitness and then 90 and finally 100 per cent. When you return from an injury the body does not react perfectly but I understood that I have to be patient. I thank my fans for the love and support,” said the lanky pacer.
Shaheen will be an integral part of Pakistan’s T20 World Cup campaign, with the Men in Green hoping that he can provide quick wickets with the new ball.
The express pacer has featured in 25 Tests, 32 ODIs and 40 T20Is over the course of his career, since making his debut in 2018.
Pakistan’s first match in the mega event is against arch-rivals India on October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. However, the clash between the traditional rivals could be washed out due to rain.