‘I’ll play practice matches in Australia and I’m ready for the India’: PCB chief Ramiz Raja says Shaheen Shah Afridi feels fit for the T20 World Cup

With a week left in the T20 World Cup to begin in Australia, the teams are providing finishing touches to their preparations ahead of the competition. Pakistan are currently in New Zealand for a T20 tri-series also featuring Bangladesh. A big question looming in the camp has been over Shaheen Shah Afridi’s fitness, who was ruled out of the Asia Cup owing a knee injury but was added to the squad for the World Cup. In a recent interview, PCB President Ramiz Raja cleared the air around the 22-year-old.

“I had spoken to Shaheen the day before, Raja said in a chat with DawnNews. “He said, ‘I haven’t felt this fit in a while’. So, the progress is very good. His doctor has sent me videos of him. He feels he will play against India and will be battle ready.”

He further added, “This is a very good news because these knee injuries are very technical and delicate. So our opinion on this was till he doesn’t get 110 percent fit, we won’t take a risk (of playing him). When I talked to him and he said, ‘I am a 110 percent (fit) now…so you don’t worry. I’ll play practice matches in Australia and I’m ready for the India match’.”

Another notable name that trended once Pakistan announced their squad for World Cup was that of Fakhar Zaman who was added among the standby players owing to a knee injury. The PCB chief however believes the southpaw, if fit, can still add to the team.

“He is also in the process of rehab,” he said. “I think if he does become fit, he has a lot of value, there’s no doubt to do. The call will be taken by the team, how they are looking at their combination. Unfortunately Usman Qadir is dealing with a hairline fracture in his finger. So it remains to be seen, what options are left for the team to choose from.”

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