Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Shaheen Shah Afridi, the Pakistan pace spearhead, has told everyone not to worry about his dipping bowling speed, saying he is still taking wickets.
Ever since suffering back-to-back knee injuries in 2022 and returning from the second one, it was noted that the 23-year-old’s bowling speed had been declining.
However, Afridi brushed aside all the concerns about him, insisting that he will be back to full speed as time goes on.
“Everyone has a view about it [the pace], but I’ve been feeling good. You look at yourself, even if you are bowling 110 kmph and taking wickets, you’re feeling good. I took wickets. I gave 100% in the field, that matters more. Speed doesn’t matter as much but if there has been a dip, it will improve with time,” he told ESPNcricinfo.
“[I was injured] two months out before the [T20] World Cup, two-three months after the [T20] World Cup also. So it will of course take time to get back. That match energy or fitness, you only get it from playing matches. Since the PSL I’ve been feeling better, I got better through it and then played internationals for Pakistan as well. With time I’ll improve and the more I play the more I’ll improve.”
Most recently, Afridi took six wickets at an average of 37.33 in Pakistan’s two-Test series against Sri Lanka, which the men in green won 2-0.
He will now feature in the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan, which will be played in Sri Lanka from August 22 to 26.
After that, the men in green will be involved in the Asia Cup, which will be hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka from August 30 to September 17.
Pakistan Squad for Afghanistan ODI Series and 2023 Asia Cup: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel (Afghanistan series only), Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tayyab Tahir, Mohammad Haris (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr