Injury crisis hits Pakistan ahead of Asia Cup finale
Defending champions Pakistan will have to contend with minor injury issues to key players Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul as they take on a consistent Sri Lanka in the final of the Asia Cup cricket tournament in Mirpur on Saturday
Mirpur (Bangladesh): Pakistan have been left to deal with an injury crisis on the eve of their Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka after four of the team's players, including senior all-rounder Shahid Afridi, reported niggles.
According to team manager Zakir Khan, Afridi is down with a grade one hip flexor strain, while pacer Umar Gul and the opening duo of Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad, who scored a century in their 327-run chase against Bangladesh, are also nursing niggles.
Shahid Afridi. Pic/Getty Images
"Shahid Afridi has grade one hip flexor strain in what is called in physiotherapy terminology. Our physio Richard (Feher) is working on him. He's been given rest and treatment," Khan told reporters during the pre-match conference.
"Hopefully, tomorrow before the start of the match we will know the complete situation about Afridi. He has responded well to the treatment. We are all analysing and assessing his situation. Tomorrow we will take the final decision about Afridi."
Giving update about other players, he added: "Sharjeel (Khan) at the moment is 98 per cent fit. He batted and fielded at the nets and looked good today.
"We have slight niggles and strains to Ahmed Shehzad who was struggling with his shoulder. He's also responding well to treatment. He's coming up well. Umar Gul was a little bit stiff but he's also coming out of it. That's the current situation of the injuries," he added.
Afridi did not practice and sat on the sidelines before heading straight to the indoor gym at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium Academy.
Afridi's fiery of knocks of 34 not out and 59 against India and Bangladesh respectively lifted Pakistan from difficult situations and took them to their second successive Asia Cup final.