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Pakistan have been handed a major boost ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia with pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi set to join the team for warm-up games against England and Afghanistan.
Afridi, 22, has been sidelined since sustaining a ligament injury to his right knee during a test match in Sri Lanka in July, missing the Asia Cup and home series against England.
“Shaheen is now available for selection for the 17 and 19 October warm-up matches against England and Afghanistan, respectively during which his match fitness will be assessed by the team management,” the PCB said on Tuesday.
Afridi, who has picked up 47 wickets in 40 T20s, is key to Pakistan’s set-up, with his ability to bowl at high speeds and generate bounce likely to come in handy on Australian pitches.
“I am super excited … it has been a difficult period for me to be miles away from the game and the team I love the most,” said Afridi, who was named in the 15-man squad in the hope that he would be fit in time for the tournament.
“I have been bowling six to eight overs trouble-free for the past 10 days with full run-up and pace.”
Reserve batsman Fakhar Zaman, who has been out with a knee injury, will also travel to Brisbane with Afridi.
Pakistan, T20 World Cup winners in 2009, open their campaign against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 23.Â
Australian Associated Press
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