World Cup 2019: Pakistan’s Shadab Khan regains full fitness ahead of the tournament

He is expected to join the team on May 20.

Shadab Khan
Shadab Khan. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

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Pakistan’s Shadab Khan had a scare of missing the World Cup despite getting named in the provisional 15-man squad as he contracted a virus. The 20-year-old all-rounder missed his country’s ongoing limited-over series against England but the latest results showed him having zero viral load in his blood. Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed also confirmed Shadab’s fitness at the toss for the third ODI against England in Bristol on Tuesday.

It was also learnt that Shadab, who last played a game on March 15 in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019, is set to leave for London on Thursday. He will consult a doctor there before joining the Pakistan squad on June 20. However, a release from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that Shadab’s availability for Pakistan’s two warm-up games on May 24 and 26, against Afghanistan and Bangladesh, respectively, remains “subject to his fitness and the team management’s decision”.

Shadab is elated over regaining fitness

Shadab Khan, who last played for Pakistan in February in a T20I against South Africa, was also relieved over regaining fitness. “I am delighted to know that the blood tests are negative and I can now return to competitive cricket. I was always very confident that I would fully recover from the viral infection and will be available for the World Cup,” Shadab was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

“Having played and won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, I understand the importance, flavour and glamour of global events and what success in such events mean to the players and the public. I am looking forward to featuring in the World Cup and will leave no stone unturned in helping Pakistan put up a strong show,” he further added.

Shadab underwent his blood test on Monday and a Pakistani official said on Tuesday that a decision on his availability will be taken by the medical board once the results came out. Shadab has 103 international wickets across the three formats and has scored around 650 runs.

Veteran spinner Yasir Shah was kept as a back-up for Shadab but after he failed to impress in the second ODI in Southampton, the news about the young leg-spinner regaining fitness has been motivating for the Pakistani side. Pakistan will launch their World Cup campaign against the Windies on May 31.

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