Pace spearhead and former T20i captain of the Shaheens – Shaheen Shah Afridi is likely to miss the first two T20 International games of the home five match series against New Zealand, as reported by Geo Super on Monday.

According to some sources, the Pakistan Cricket Board have taken the decision of letting Shaheen rest for the first two games against New Zealand, keeping in mind the workload of the 24 year old. The PCB have recently started a rotation policy which aims at managing the workload of the players before this year’s T20 World Cup

Afridi will most likely be absent from the playing 11 for the first two T20i’s but will definitely participate in the remaining three games of the five match series against New Zealand. Shaheen Shah Afridi was recently replaced by Babar Azam as the captain of the National Team for the white ball formats. 

The Pakistan Cricket Board said that the decision of replacing Shaheen with Babar as the captain was “a strategic change which aims at ensuring the best performance and well being of the Pakistan National Cricket Team”.

“He (Shaheen Shah Afridi) has performed exceptionally well for Pakistan as a fast bowler in the last few years and has tirelessly led the team’s pace attack since the 2021 T20 World Cup. The PCB are aware of the importance of rotating the players and providing them ample rest so that they can retain their peak performance. The decision of letting Shaheen rest has been taken in accordance to the board’s policy of protecting the players, especially pace bowlers given the injury issues they have faced in the last two years,” the Pakistan Cricket Board added.

“Keeping the worldload management of the players in mind, this decision has been taken to ensure that our team’s main fast bowlers remain completely fit and at the top of their game. The PCB does not want the Men’s National Cricket Team to face injury crisis in the bowling department similar to the 2022 T20 World Cup, when Shaheen Afridi had to be monitored closely post his return from injury and the 2023 ODI World Cup where the team was without the services of Naseem Shah.”

The Black Caps arrived in Islamabad on 14th April, Sunday while the home team recently assembled in the country’s Federal Capital post the conclusion of the Ramzan Eid holidays.

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Pakistan vs New Zealand: Shaheen Shah Afridi set to miss the first two T20I's 2

Pakistan – Babar Azam (Captain), Azam Khan, Abrar Ahmed, Iftikhar Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, Abbas Afridi, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Irfan Khan, Shadab Khan, Saim Ayub, Usama Mir, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Zaman Khan and Usman Khan. 

New Zealand – Michael Bracewell (Captain), Mark Chapman, Jacob Duffy, Tom Blundell, Zak Foulkes, Dean Foxcroft, Cole McConchie, Ben Lister, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Robinson, Will O’Rourke, Ben Sears, Ish Sodhi, Josh Clarkson and Tim Seifert. 

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