Pakistan's premier fast bowler Shaheen Afridi made a return to the side in the 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Afridi has been away from action since July earlier this year when he faced a knee injury during his fielding; he missed the Asia Cup 2022 as well, where Pakistan went down to Sri Lanka in the final. Afridi had remained with the Pakistan squad, however, as he travelled with the side to the Netherlands to remain in close contact with the team's physio.
Afridi eventually departed for the United Kingdom late last month in order to continue his rehabilitation process. However, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has now revealed that Shaheen has actually been paying money out of his own pocket to fund his stay in the UK.
Talking about the issue at length, Afridi said, "When I talk about Shaheen.. that guy went to England on his own. He bought his own ticket, he spent his own money to stay in a hotel. I arranged a doctor for him, then he contacted the doctor. PCB is not doing anything, he was doing that on his own," said Shahid Afridi on Samaa TV.
"Everything, from coordination to doctors to his hotel room and food expenses, he is paying out of his own pocket. As far as I know, Zakir Khan talked to him for 1-2 times, but that was it," the former Pakistan skipper further added.
Zakir is currently the Director of Cricket for international tours at the PCB.
Interestingly, during the announcement for the T20I squad, chief selector Wasim had stated that they had received 'encouraging reports' over the progress of Shaheen.
"We are receiving encouraging reports about Shaheen Shah Afridi, who is likely to resume bowling early next month," said chief selector Muhammad Wasim.
Before travelling to Brisbane for the start of the T20 World Cup, Pakistan will play in a tri-series in the shortest format, including hosts New Zealand and Bangladesh, in Christchurch from October 7-14.
Fast bowler Mohammad Wasim also returned to the World Cup squad after recovering fully from a side strain he suffered during the Asia Cup.