Pakistan paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi admits that if he had been able to bowl his full quota in the 2022 T20 World Cup final against England, things could have gone differently. The adolescent expressed concern about how the 2021 edition ended for Pakistan.
In the 2022 T20 World Cup final, Afridi took a brilliant catch to dismiss England’s Harry Brook in the 13th over, but he injured his knee in the process. After only two overs, the left-arm pacer was forced off the pitch. England won by five wickets with one over remaining.
The new-ball bowler told ESPN Cricinfo that if he hadn’t been injured, Pakistan might have won, but emphasised the importance of moving on.
“Obviously, it’s every player’s dream to win a World Cup for his country and I still remember 2021, how that ended. And in this tournament, if I didn’t get injured at such a crucial moment, maybe we could’ve won.
Maybe if I had stayed fit and bowled. Injuries can happen at any time. If I think too much about them then I won’t be able to move ahead.”
Notably, the Men in Green were eliminated from the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE after losing to Australia. As the Aussies chased down 177 in 19 overs with five wickets to spare, Afridi bowled the second last over, conceding three sixes to Matthew Wade.
Since PSL 2023, the 23-year-old has gone from strength to strength in terms of fitness, and he expects to hit his stride soon.
“I was injured two months out before the World Cup, two-three months after the World Cup also. So it will of course take time to get back.
That match energy or fitness, you only get it from playing matches. Since the PSL, I’ve been feeling better, I got better through it and then played internationals for Pakistan as well. With time I’ll improve and the more I play the more I’ll improve.”
This year, the left-arm pacer led Lahore Qalandars to their second consecutive Pakistan Super League title, finishing with 19 wickets in 12 games.