Unfit Afridi set to miss Pakistan practice games

August 1st, 2008 - 6:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Aug 1(IANS) Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi is a doubtful starter for September’s Champions Trophy because of a wrist injury and is likely to miss a series of practice games in Lahore next week. A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official told IANS Friday that specialists have advised Afridi a three-week rest, which is why he might not play in the practice games Aug 5, 7 and 9.

The games have been planned between leading Pakistani cricketers and second-string players and will serve as trials before Pakistan name their 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy.

Following an MRI report over his wrist problem, doctors at a local Karachi hospital have advised Afridi a three-week rest. The explosive batsman has already been out of action the last few weeks because of the injury and his wife’s illness.

Senior PCB officials have made it clear that only fit and in-form players would be selected for the Champions Trophy.

However, a national selector said that since Afridi is a senior player, he could be selected in the final 15 but the player would be asked to prove his fitness much before the Champions Trophy, which gets underway Sept 12.

Afridi, 28, has played 26 Tests and 265 One-day Internationals, scoring 1,683 and 5,479 runs respectively. He also has 239 one-day and 47 Test wickets.

But he has been out-of-form with the bat in recent times and was dropped from the Pakistan team during this summer’s Asia Cup at home.

Later, the Karachi-based player missed Pakistan’s eight-day training camp at the Army School of Physical Training in Kakul, which concluded last week.

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