PCB Mulls Benching Shaheen Afridi for NZ T20I Series

Shaheen Afridi’s potential bench role looms over the series opener on April 18th.

Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is contemplating sidelining Shaheen Shah Afridi for a portion of the upcoming five-match T20I series against New Zealand, as reported by the media.

The discussions within PCB aim to shield pacers from undue strain while assessing the form and fitness of emerging talents. Consequently, prospects for the inclusion of returning fast bowlers seem promising for the Kiwi series.

Possibly, leading pacers like Shaheen Afridi might sit out the initial phase or the entirety of the series, slated to kick off on April 18.

This development follows PCB’s decision to strip Shaheen of the T20I captaincy, reinstalling Babar Azam. Allegedly, Shaheen expressed discontent over the board’s abrupt leadership alteration.

Presently engaged in fitness training at Pakistan Military Academy, Shaheen reportedly disavowed statements attributed to him, emphasizing his obligation to support Babar’s captaincy.

He voiced dismay over not being consulted before the statement’s release.

Speculations suggest Shaheen’s exclusion from the T20I lineup is linked to his dissent. Nonetheless, a definitive verdict awaits observation of his conduct leading up to the series.

Sources indicate Shaheen Afridi might feature in the squad against New Zealand but might not grace the Playing XI in the initial three T20Is at Pindi Stadium.