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Pakistan’s T20 World Cup campaign ended in heartbreak after Jos Buttler’s England defeated them in the final to lift the prestigious trophy at the MCG on Sunday. While the defeat was saddening enough, an injury to fast-bowling sensation Shaheen Afridi during the contest made matters worse for the Asian side. Former Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar lamented Afridi’s injury but felt the youngster should have continued since it was the World Cup final.
Shaheen Afridi’s World Cup campaign came to an abrupt halt after the left-arm pacer hobbled off the field during the final against England. The 22-year-old hurt his right knee while completing a catch in the summit clash at the MCG. Former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar, who is often in the news for his outlandish take on the game, made a controversial remark by saying Afridi could’ve pushed himself even after the knee injury since it was the final.
“When your main bowler becomes unfit, then it creates problem for you. Shaheen (Afridi) was never fully fit, but we cannot put the entire blame on him as he bowled well in the past 2-3 matches. But this is World Cup final. Even if the leg breaks. Whatever happens, happens. Just keep running and do something. But this was not in our fortune,” said Akhtar on Zee News.
It is a tough decision when you are risking the career of the young man: Akhtar
Afridi tried to bowl after his unfortunate injury but could muster just one delivery before walking off the field for good. Akhtar felt that he might’ve continued after taking painkillers but it would’ve been a huge risk. He stated that it was the decision of the skipper to whether risk his star bowler’s career at such a young age or not.
“When you numb your feet, the pain is not felt. Yes, you are risking the career of the young man. It is a World Cup final, and whether you can risk or not that you have to think as a captain. It is a tough decision,” he added.