LAHORE: Pakistan’s all-format captain Babar Azam backed the team’s main strike bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi during his recovery from a knee injury and wanted him to be completely fit before the Asia Cup 2022.
Speaking to a scheduled press conference ahead of the national team’s ODI tour of the Netherlands, Babar stated that Shaheen would be travelling with the team so they could assess his fitness as the left-arm pacer is currently undergoing rehabilitation after he pulled an injury during Sri Lanka tour.
“In order to evaluate his fitness, we are taking Shaheen along with the team as we want him to be completely fit before the Asia Cup, ” he said.
The skipper opined on out-of-form Hasan Ali’s exclusion from the national squad and expressed confidence that a strong performance in the domestic season would propel his return to the national side.
“Hasan Ali is a team-man. Obviously, he is out-of-form but he has already demonstrated the type of athlete he is. I am confident that he will make a comeback after the upcoming domestic season,” he added.
While responding to a question on all-rounder Imad Wasim’s inclusion in the team, Babar stated that since Mohammad Nawaz had been performing well in the limited overs format, he would be continuing with the team yet the doors were not closed for Imad as well.
Furthermore, Babar extended full confidence in the middle-order batters, expecting strong performances from Khushdil Shah, Iftikhar Ahmed and Asif Ali in the absence of experienced Shoaib Malik and Mohamad Hafeez.
Moreover, the national team skipper lauded the Pakistani athletes Arshad Nadeem and Nooh Dastgir Butt for winning the gold medals in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games and urged proper training facilities for the national athletes.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan will play a three-match away ODI series against the Netherlands from August 16 to 21. The side will depart for Amsterdam in the wee hours of Friday, August 12.