Samarnath Soory
13 Oct 2022 | 03:27 PM

Shaheen Afridi is 90% ready for the World Cup: Ramiz Raja

Afridi is set to join the Pakistan T20 World Cup squad in Brisbane on Saturday after recovering from knee injury

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja said that the medical team will closely monitor Shaheen Shah Afridi's fitness during the T20 World Cup warm-up matches to decide on his participation in the main competition.

The PCB on Tuesday confirmed that the left-arm pacer had completed his rehabilitation for a knee injury he suffered in July and will join Pakistan camp in Brisbane on Saturday. Afridi will be available for their warm-up matches on October 17 and 19 against England and Afghanistan respecitvely.

"I have spoken to him we are in touch with his doctors and the feedback we have got is he is 90 percent ready. But knee injuries can be delicate and technical and we have to see if he feels any soreness after playing the warm-up games. On his part he says he is ready and I think we are also ready," Raja told reporters on Thursday.

Raja also spoke about the criticism surrounding the opening pairing of Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam as he felt that the combination is still perfect.

"I am surprised we talk about separating them when the talking point for any team is having a solid opening pair. The three make points for a team to be successful is to have a good opening pair and we also have good bowlers. Yes the team does disappoint us sometimes but they have a 75 percent success ration which is why fans and our commercial partners are engaging with them. They are issues with the middle order but I don't see any reason to change something which has worked for us until now," Raja said.

Pakistan reached the semifinal in the 2021 edition and have looked confident going into the T20 World Cup in Australia after reaching the Asia Cup final and narrowly lost the home series against England. They reached the final of the tri-series against New Zealand and Bangladesh with three wins.

Raja was confident that the 2009 champions can win their second trophy Down Under.

"I will say this 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 the champions. We have a very good outfit," Raja said.

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