The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is planning to provide much-needed rest to their premier fast bowler, Shaheen Shah Afridi, in the forthcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka in the upcoming month. This decision stems from the PCB’s recognition of the significance of the approaching 50-over Asia Cup and World Cup 2023, where they aim to excel. Consequently, the management committee is contemplating granting a break to their key pace asset.
Last year, during the second Test match against Sri Lanka, Afridi suffered a knee injury, which resulted in his absence during a crucial T20I season, including the Asia Cup. Consequently, the PCB is mindful of managing his workload effectively and ensuring his full recovery before the crucial upcoming tournaments.
The specific schedule for the red-ball series, which is part of the upcoming ICC Test Championship cycle 2023-25, is yet to be announced. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is expected to reveal the schedule later this month, providing more clarity on the upcoming Test matches.
It is worth mentioning that the Sri Lanka board proposed holding a white-ball series as preparation for the upcoming events. However, the PCB declined the proposal, indicating their focus on prioritizing rest and preparation for the Asia Cup and World Cup.
To enhance the national bowling unit’s performance, the PCB has announced a preparatory camp. This camp will be held at the National High-Performance Centre in Lahore, and it has already commenced. The camp aims to refine the skills of the bowlers and ensure their optimal form and fitness leading up to the upcoming tournaments.
The preparatory camp includes two separate segments: a spin bowling camp and a fast bowling camp. The spin bowling camp is scheduled to run from June 10 to 15, focusing on honing the skills of 13 spinners. Following this, the fast bowling camp will take place from June 16 to 21, with the participation of 11 fast bowlers. The PCB aims to provide specialized coaching and guidance to the bowlers, preparing them for the challenges that lie ahead.
In conclusion, the Pakistan Cricket Board acknowledges the importance of providing rest to their star fast bowler, Shaheen Shah Afridi, to ensure his full recovery and optimum performance in the upcoming 50-over Asia Cup and World Cup 2023. Additionally, the PCB is actively organizing preparatory camps for the national bowling unit, aiming to enhance their skills and readiness for the upcoming tournaments. By carefully managing Afridi’s workload and investing in the development of their bowlers, the PCB is strategically positioning itself for success in the international cricket arena.