Twenty20 World Cup: Shahid Afridi hopes for quick recovery from groin injury
After his exploits against India and Bangladesh in the Asia Cup, the big-hitting all-rounder will be keen to blaze away in the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup. Having sustained a groin injury, he will not fly out with his team on March 13 and instead join them in Bangladesh on March 17.
Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi said on Thursday, that he was hopeful of a quick recovery from injury in time for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next week after his exploits at the Asia Cup.
The 34-year-old hurt his groin during the recent one-day tournament, which concluded last week and was also held in Bangladesh.
As a result he will not fly out with the team early Friday, and instead travel on Monday.
"I am recovering well and (will) hopefully play at least one warm-up match," Afridi told reporters.
He is set to miss Pakistan's first warm-up match against New Zealand on Monday. Pakistan's second warm-up match will be against South Africa on March 19.
One of cricket's hardest hitters, his sparkling show with the bat helped Pakistan beat arch-rivals India in the Asia Cup, sealing victory in the last over by striking successive sixes.
He followed up with a whirlwind 25-ball 59 to anchor a tough 327-run chase against hosts Bangladesh, before Pakistan stumbled in the final to eventual winners Sri Lanka.
But Afridi said Pakistan could still take heart from their victory over India, against whom they will play in their first match of the tournament in Dhaka on March 21.
"The Asia Cup win over India will benefit us," said Afridi, but cautioned: "We have to be at our best to beat India who will now be with (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni.
Afridi, who also bowls leg-spin, will be key to Pakistan's World Twenty20 campaign.
In 70 Twenty20 matches, Afridi has 1,044 runs and 73 wickets.
Afridi was player of the tournament in the inaugural World Twenty20 held in South Africa, with Pakistan finishing runners-up to India.
He was man-of-the-match in the semi-final and final in Pakistan's only World Twenty20 triumph in England in 2009.
"I can't see a better (limited-overs) combination in the world than Pakistan because our bowling is good, batting is good but the only mistake we are doing that's in fielding and fielding is the most essential thing in limited-over cricket," Afridi said.