‘This is enough, I want to give up’: Shaheen Afridi makes stunning revelations about almost quitting cricket

Feb 01, 2023 06:07 PM IST

Ahead of his much anticipated return to competitive cricket, Shaheen Afridi opened up about the period when he was tussling hard to regain fitness.

After staying in the sidelines for months, Shaheen Shah Afridi is expected to make a comeback in the upcoming edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL), which is scheduled to start from February 13. The Pakistan pacer, who is also the skipper of Lahore Qalandars, is anticipated to be back in action in the season opener against Multan Sultans.

Shaheen Afridi is attended by physio after falling while catching out Harry Brook during the T20 World Cup final(AP)
Shaheen Afridi is attended by physio after falling while catching out Harry Brook during the T20 World Cup final(AP)

Ahead of his much-anticipated return to competitive cricket, Shaheen opened up about the period when he was tussling hard to regain fitness. In a video shared on Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) digital channels, the pacer said he contemplated retirement but kept himself motivated by watching his old videos on YouTube.

“There were times when I wanted to give up. I was working on only one muscle and it was not improving. Often during the rehabilitation sessions, I used to say to myself ‘this is enough, I cannot do this anymore

“But then I used to watch my bowling on YouTube and see how well I had done and that motivated me and I told myself ‘to push a little more’ … It is frustrating for a fast bowler to miss cricket because of an injury,” he said.

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Shaheen was troubled with a knee injury that forced him out of action for several months. During the Asia Cup 2022, where Pakistan finished as the runners-up, Shaheen was seen walking with the help of a crutch, while players from India and other countries were seen checking on him.

Shaheen soon returned to the main fold and he was an integral part of the Pakistan unit during the T20 World Cup held in Australia, where Babar Azam and Co. once again finished as the runners-up. However, it was during the finals against England at the showpiece event Shaheen once again injured his already hurt knees, forcing him to leave the contest midway.

Shaheen then had a surgery and was undergoing rehabilitation, while his teammates were engaged in national duties. The team locked horns in a Test series against England, before playing a full-fledged series against New Zealand.

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Shaheen also reflected on that phase, stating he was eager to jump into action during the Multan Test against England, where Pakistan fell short by 26 runs.

“It came when I was watching the [Multan Test] match and our tailenders were not able to finish the game. I wanted to hit a few sixes there and finish the match for Pakistan. Also, when they [England] were scoring a lot of runs, I wanted to give my input with the ball,” he said.

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