Gurbaz was taken back to dugout after he was injured by Shaheen Afridi’s yorker.© Twitter
Shaheen Afridi was all fired up in Pakistan’s warm-up match against Afghanistan on Wednesday. Though the match had to be abandoned due to rain in Brisbane, Shaheen scalped the wickets of Afghanistan openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai. Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batter Gurbaz was hit on the left foot by Shaheen’s inswinging yorker. He was given some medical attention and was carried off the pitch. Gurbaz was later seen wearing a protective boot on his left foot. He was sent to hospitals to get his scans done.
He is expected to feature in his side’s ICC T20 World Cup campaign opener against England after gaining clearance after scans. Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) later said in a statement that the player has been cleared of a serious injury.
“Team doctor stated that the results are clear with no bone fracture. He will be assessed in the next two days and is expected to be available for our England fixture on Saturday,” ACB was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
Gurbaz had struggled in the previous T20 World Cup back in 2021, in which he made 85 runs in five innings. He has been promoted as an opener and his availability will be a boost to his side.
Afghanistan has been placed in Group 1 for the Super 12 phase, along with England, Australia, New Zealand, winner of Group A of round one and runner-up of Group B of round one.
For the Indian team, which faces Pakistan in their first game on Sunday, the return of Shaheen Shah Afridi is a big development but former cricketer Aakash Chopra doesn’t feel he is the bowler Rohit Sharma & Co. need to be wary of.
Taking to Twitter during the Pakistan vs Afghanistan warm-up match on Wednesday, Chopra tweeted: “Full…swinging…fast. Shaheen Afridi is getting close to his best. Gurbaz’s toe agrees.”
In another tweet, he wrote: “But I do feel the bowler to be wary of on Sunday isn’t Shaheen. It’s Haris Rauf. Afridi is getting close to his best but isn’t there yet…and unlikely to be by the 23rd either. Rauf will bowl the tougher overs and has the potential to make a difference.”
With ANI inputs
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