Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi will miss the second Test against Sri Lanka, beginning Sunday, July 24, in Galle, due to an injury he sustained on his right knee during the series opener at the same venue.
Afridi suffered the blow on Day 4 of the first Test, which Pakistan went on to win by four wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the series. A Pakistan Cricket Board statement confirmed the update and added that the left-arm quick will remain with the team until the end of the tour, while his recovery will be monitored by the medical staff.
“He will stay with the Test side in Sri Lanka, where his initial rehabilitation and management will continue under the supervision of the team’s medical staff,”it read.
Afridi was Pakistan’s standout bowler on the opening day, returning 4/58 in 14.1 overs to help his side restrict the hosts for 222 after they opted to bat. He could deliver only seven of the 100 overs Pakistan sent down in the second Sri Lankan innings. He had left the field with discomfort on the fourth day and is currently just one short of completing 100 Test wickets.
Hosts Sri Lanka too, have injury concerns of their own ahead of the decider, with off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana being ruled out of the Test with an injury to his bowling hand.
The series is a part of the ongoing World Test Championship 2023 cycle, and Pakistan, placed third in the standings, have a great chance to close in further on the second-placed South Africa.
Australia take the pole position currently, while India are at fourth, followed by the West Indies and Sri Lanka.