ISLAMABAD: Star all-rounder Shahid Afridi has been ruled out of the Pakistan Super League due to a back injury, the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Monday.
Pakistan’s premier domestic Twenty20 league will resume in Abu Dhabi next month after it was postponed in March with 20 games to go when several players and support staff among the six franchises tested positive for COVID-19.
Afridi represented Multan Sultans in four of its five league games at Karachi, scoring just three runs in two innings and picking up two wickets from 15 overs.
Afridi experienced pain in his lower back during training in Karachi. He was examined by a doctor, who prescribed a period of complete rest.
“Unfortunately, I have been advised to rest and can no longer accompany my team Multan Sultans,” Afridi said in a statement.
“I am disappointed that I would be sitting out of the tournament, but my best wishes, support and prayers are with the team to take the trophy.”
Multan has won just one of its five league games and is fifth in the points table.
The PCB is yet to announce the schedule for the remaining 20 PSL games, but the tournament is expected to be completed before the Pakistan team departs for England on June 23.
Meanwhile, Fast bowler Naseem Shah has been expelled from next month’s Pakistan Super League in Abu Dhabi after breaching the tournament’s COVID-19 protocols.
The 18-year-old Shah arrived at a team hotel in Lahore on Monday with an outdated negative test for COVID-19 and the Pakistan Cricket Board said the right-arm fast bowler “is now out of the competition.”
The PCB’s protocols require all the players traveling to Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to present a negative test taken not more than 48 hours prior to arrival at the team hotel. Shah presented a report on Monday from a test that was conducted on May 18.
The PCB said it immediately placed Shah into isolation on a separate floor before being released from the hotel following a decision made by a three-member committee on the recommendation of the independent medical advisory panel of the PSL.
“The PCB doesn’t take any pride in releasing a young fast bowler from its marquee event, but if we will ignore this breach, then we will potentially put at risk the entire event,” said PCB’s director commercial Babar Hamid in a statement.
Hamid, who also heads the PSL, said that Shah’s expulsion from the event “will also send out a loud and clear message to all involved in the remaining matches that the PCB will not compromise on any violations and will expel the player or player support personnel irrespective of his stature and standing in the game if they are found to be flouting the prescribed protocols or regulations.”
Shah was supposed to be the key player for Quetta Gladiators in the PSL. He rose to the fame with his pace when he made his test debut against Australia in November 2019 and then grabbed a hat trick in a test match against Bangladesh at Rawalpindi last year. He has played in nine test matches and grabbed 20 wickets.
Pakistan’s premier domestic Twenty20 league was postponed in March with 20 games to go when several players and support staff among the six franchises tested positive for COVID-19.