Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Junaid Khan believes fellow Pakistan left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi should have rested and worked on his fitness instead of featuring in the 2023 Vitaly Blast and The Hundred.
He noted that Afridi is Pakistan’s pace spearhead and needs time to rest and recuperate, especially with the men in green hectic schedule.
Pakistan are now playing in the Asia Cup and will soon feature in the ICC Cricket World Cup as well.
Considering Afridi suffered back-to-back knee injuries last year, Junaid felt the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should have stopped him from playing in the Vitality Blast and The Hundred.
Afridi took 22 wickets in 14 games for Nottinghamshire in the Vitality Blast at an average of 20.81 and an economy rate of 8.40.
As for The Hundred, the 23-year-old finished with six wickets in six matches for the Welsh Fire at an average of 21 and an economy rate of 7.56.
“In my opinion, it would have been best if the board didn’t allow him to play and advised him to work on his fitness and take some rest because the World Cup is near, and there are more series ahead, and we need him,” Junaid said on his YouTube channel as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
Pakistan recently defeated Sri Lanka 2-0 in a Test series and Afghanistan 3-0 in an ODI series.
The Asia Cup is currently being held in Pakistan and Sri Lanka and will conclude on September 17.
Pakistan Squad for 2023 Asia Cup: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Haris (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr.
Travelling reserve: Tayyab Tahir