Recent scans have revealed the degree of Naseem Shah’s right shoulder injury, which looks to be more serious than previously thought. While the Pakistan Cricket Board awaits a second opinion, the preliminary results of tests done in Dubai indicate that the player may be out for the rest of the year.
Shah’s participation in the forthcoming Test series in Australia early next year is now in doubt, and he may even be forced to miss the Pakistan Super League in 2024.
The terrible situation occurred last week during Pakistan’s second game versus India in the Asia Cup. Naseem was ruled out of the competition after leaving the field during the 46th over on the reserve day particularly scheduled for that match.
Interestingly, the PCB was the one that lobbied for the inclusion of this reserve day versus India, obtaining it as a hard-fought concession after the matches were not relocated to the drier Hambantota location. It was on this fateful reserve day that Shah suffered a muscle injury directly below his bowling shoulder, which is unconnected to any of his prior shoulder problems.
The absence of Naseem from the ODI World Cup and the ensuing series in Australia is a major loss for Pakistan. Naseem had progressed from a red-ball specialist to a vital all-format bowler for the national squad in the previous year. His current form puts him atop Pakistan’s fearsome bowling triad, which also includes Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf.
When the findings of Naseem’s secondary scans are ready in the following days, the PCB is anticipated to issue an official declaration. During his absence from the Asia Cup, Zaman Khan took his position, although it is unclear whether Mohammad Hasnain, another potential substitute, would be able to participate due to an injury.
Shah has struggled with injuries throughout his cricket career. A back ailment he sustained barely a year into his international career sidelined him for 14 months.