Injury rules Arafat out of World Twenty20
Pakistan allrounder Yasir Arafat has been ruled out of the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies later this month due to a calf injury, the captain Shahid Afridi has confirmed. Arafat, the world's most successful Twenty20 bowler with 90 wickets, was anyway in doubt when the training camp began in Lahore last week.
"Yasir Arafat is out because of the calf injury," Afridi told the News. "He told us that he was not fit, after which we had to take a decision."
Though a replacement hasn't been named yet, Afridi suggested that they may draft in a batsman, Shahzaib Hasan. The 20-year-old right-hander appeared in last year's World Twenty20 in England and provided the team with good starts.
"Shahzaib is very much in the picture for us," Afridi said. "He is a good pinch-hitter and could be useful for us in the West Indies."
Pakistan are also waiting on the fitness of their strike bowler Umar Gul, who hurt his shoulder last week during a fielding drill. He resumed bowling in the nets and he said his shoulder was showing signs of improvement.
"We don't have that much time which is why there is going to be a fitness test for him on the 18th," Afridi said. "Gul himself is very keen and confident which is why I'm hoping that he would get fully fit."
Pakistan play their first match against Bangladesh on May 1 in St Lucia.