Injured pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi has been ruled out of the upcoming Asia Cup 2022, dealing a major setback to the Pakistan side, who were banking on his bowling in the upcoming international tournament.

Shaheen had suffered a right knee ligament injury while fielding during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle last month.

In a statement, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Shaheen has been advised four to six weeks rest by the body’s medical advisory committee and independent specialists following the latest scans and reports.

“This means Shaheen has been ruled out of the ACC T20 Asia Cup and home series against England,” the board announced about the pacer, who routinely serves as a crucial part of Pakistan’s bowling attack.

The young pacer is expected to return to competitive cricket in October with the New Zealand T20I tri-series, which will be followed by the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Australia 2022.

Shaheen will stay with the squad to complete his rehabilitation. His replacement for the ACC T20 Asia Cup will be announced shortly. The Pakistan side will arrive in Dubai from Rotterdam on Monday.

PCB Chief Medical Officer, Dr Najeebullah Soomro said he spoke with Shaheen and he is understandably upset with the news, but he is a brave young man who has vowed to come back strongly to serve his country and team.

“Although he has made progress during his rehabilitation in Rotterdam, it is now clear he will require more time and is likely to return to competitive cricket in October,” said Soomro.

“PCB’s Sports & Exercise Medicine Department will be working closely with the player over the coming weeks to ensure his safe return to competitive cricket,” he added.

Shaheen was one of the heroes of Pakistan’s famous 10-wicket victory against India in T20 World Cup 2021. The young-sensation rattled India’s top-order to set the tone for Pakistan to win their first-ever World Cup contest against their arch-rivals.

Moreover, Shaheen is considered one of the toughest bowlers to face in the beginning overs. He enjoys taking wickets of top-order to dent the oppositions early on.

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