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Shaheen Shah Afridi

Shaheen Afridi is One Wicket Away From 100 Test Wickets

Shaheen Shah Afridi is one wicket away from a century of Test wickets as he returns to red-ball cricket after almost a year away. 

Shaheen opened the bowling for Pakistan on Tuesday against Sri Lanka in a two-day warm-up fixture at Hambantota’s Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium after injuring his knee last year during the first of the two tests at Galle. It had been almost a year since he had donned whites for Pakistan.

Shaheen Afridi took three wickets for 36 runs in 12 overs, with three maidens. Pakistan bowled out Sri Lanka for 196 before tea in the first innings.

On the final day, he returned 4-2-2-1 as the hosts made only 88 for four as Pakistan passed the target after Shan Masood, Babar Azam, and Saud Shakeel scored half-centuries.

After returning to test cricket, Afridi released a statement expressing his excitement.

“I am very excited to make my Test comeback in the country where I was injured,” Shaheen told PCB Digital in Hambantota. “Injuries are part of an athlete’s life, but it is good to be back. I enjoy red-ball cricket a lot and I am one wicket away from a century of Test wickets, which would be a big achievement for me.”

After being sidelined for months due to a severe knee injury, Shaheen Khan Afridi returned to the T20 World Cup last year. During Pakistan vs England T20 World Cup Final, he again injured himself badly and left the game at the crucial stage.

His return to national test cricket came after he recovered from injury, won PSL 8 for the second time in a row, and destroyed English County batsmen.

Shaheen Said, “It takes time to get used to red-ball cricket after playing white-ball,” adding: “But the Karachi camp proved beneficial for me. Test cricket demands patience and partnership with fellow bowlers. Over the last year, I have played more white-ball matches, but when I played in the United Kingdom, I bowled extra overs after matches — even with red balls — to meet the desired workload.

“It seems like yesterday when I was injured. My return to Tests will take place on the same ground where I was injured. I was talking to our physiotherapist about it. The opportunity to represent Pakistan in any format is a matter of pride for me, and I enjoy playing for my country.

The pacer Shaheen said, “I hope we will have a good start to this cycle of the World Test Championship and qualify for the final, something we have missed the past two years.

Shaheen Afridi 100 Test Wicket

As a pacer from Pakistan, Shaheen is about to become the 11th player to make 100 Test wickets.

For the pacer, it has been a long wait, but the seamer said there was a lot of excitement for the 100th wicket as well.

“In the first test against Galle 12 months ago, I was only one wicket away from getting the new ball,” he said.

As I was planning to use the new ball to reach that milestone, I got injured before we got the new ball. So, I had to wait a lot. It is tough to be away from cricket, but time has taught me a lot, which will help me perform well for Pakistan across formats.”

During his rehabilitation, Shaheen strengthened his batting and now has 99 wickets in 25 matches, at an average of 24.86. He also has four five-wicket hauls and one 10-for in the match.

He smoked 44 not out off just 15 balls to set up Lahore Qalandars’ thrilling win over Multan Sultans in the PSL 8 final. In the fourth One-Day International in Karachi, he smashed New Zealand’s Blair Tickner for 22 (three sixes and a four) in the last over to lead Pakistan to 334 runs.

“I’m a bowler first,” he laughed. “But I will make my country proud whenever I have a chance to bat.”

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