Pakistan news December 7, 2013

Irfan selected against doctor's advice


Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Irfan was picked for the final T20 against South Africa in Dubai despite carrying niggles, ESPNcricinfo has learned. He was to be rested for that game, but ended up injuring his hip and is now likely to miss the series against Sri Lanka in the UAE. The PCB responded quickly by sidelining the team doctor and local trainer and recruiting a foreign physiotherapist to deal with fitness issues.

Pakistan had been without a professional physiotherapist since June, after Faisal Hayat left to work in a hospital in Dubai. Since then the PCB had a doctor and a trainer with the team. ESPNcricinfo understands the doctor wanted to rest Irfan for the T20s against South Africa in the UAE, but the team management led by former wicketkeeper Moin Khan wanted Irfan to play because Junaid Khan was not fit. The spinner Abdur Rehman was available for selection but he was not chosen.

Irfan's fitness has been a talking point since he made his debut in 2010 and he played his longest international streak in the UAE. He bowled 65.5 overs in two Tests against South Africa and 13 overs in a game against UAE. Irfan played all five ODIs, bowling 48 overs, and it is understood that he needed adequate time off. In the first T20, Irfan was able to bowl only two overs, and in the second he bowled 1.4 before having to go off the field with a hip injury. Irfan had been rested from the Tests in Zimbabwe in August and was picked only for the limited-overs series, before making a comeback to all formats against South Africa in the UAE.

Pakistan suffered several injuries in 2013, with Taufeeq Umar and Harris Sohail returning from South Africa at the start of the year. Umar Gul missed the Champions Trophy with a knee injury and is yet to make a comeback. Allrounder Shoaib Malik and Abdul Razzaq suffered injuries during the South Africa series in the UAE. However, they travelled to South Africa for the series in November but had to return to Pakistan after failing to recover.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • yuvraj on December 8, 2013, 17:37 GMT

    Awesome bowler. But I wonder why dint their cricket board pick another bowler to play with us. Pakistan has abundance of talent in fast bowling. I have seen a debutant producing a match winning spell against us in SA.

  • Jawwad on December 8, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    @Khurram - My friend. You missed the bigger point. Though Hafeez is the captain on T20 side but Misbah is in charge of Pakistan Cricket. Did Irfan not play 5 ODI's under Misbah before breaking down in T20 series? Ideally, Irfan should have played 2 ODI's and one T20 - That would've been a proper player management. As for Misbah - I am his staunch supporter since back from 2000's when he made his debut but that does not mean that he should be absolved of any criticism? Not every chemistry works the same way and not every body reacts the same way. These players are contracted and thus an asset and one should know how to utilize an asset.

  • Android on December 8, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    i think most people here are missing the point in article. it was about SA t20 series played last month in uae. he had problems in 1 st t20 after which doctor saidto rest him in 2nd t20. but team selection comittee which is always coach- manager- captain played him.

    and in that match he went out after bowling 1 over and few balls and later on it was diacovered that he has hairline fracture.

    a its not pcb 's fault. b its not about coming matches. this article is about past series.

  • Shiv on December 8, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    This shows how desperate PCB is and how unprofessional Pak cricket is run. Recently bhatti was jailed in Dubai. Stop cribbing on other people an learn to be a little professional, I know that's too much to expect from Pak.

  • ick on December 8, 2013, 2:51 GMT

    Irfan's long frame, his age does not allow us to kill his short career by playing him in longer version of the game. He is a very good bowler but his fitness level is such that he can bowl 4/5 overs and then he needs a long rest. He is not a good fielder because of his fitness level. We should only paly himin T20 and have mercy on his career and his health and life. Please don't spoil his career and his life for a short vested interest of Captain, coach and manager.

  • ESPN on December 8, 2013, 0:21 GMT

    Professional advice from The Sports Injuries Specialist - Registered Osteopath:

    Irfan needs to rest until the hairline fracture heals! After which he must undergo rehabilitation to strengthen his gluteal muscles stabilising his hip!

    Irfan should not be risked in an insignificant capacity, aka T20 match!!

    The PCB should contact us for providing treatment and rehabilitation to the Pakistan team!!

    44 792 100 4705

  • M on December 7, 2013, 23:13 GMT

    @desihungama: Mate, get your facts right and dont let your biases ruin you. Misbah was the only person who said as early as the SA tour in Januray that Irfan shd be handled with care. He was criticized for not playing him in he first test. Then even in the UAE series he did not want to play him in the last ODI but team managers thought otherwise. In the T20s, Misbah was not even in UAE.... Hafeez on the other hand insisted that Irfan shd play knowing he was injured!! Dont blame Misbah for everything under the sun!

  • Aamir on December 7, 2013, 22:54 GMT

    How can you blame Misbah for this? He doesn't play T-20s for Pakistan, Hafeez is the captain. Please get your facts correct. Yes I agree Irfan is unique because of his height and needs to be rested. PCB needs to ensure we take care of him and give him ample of rest. We want him to play for another three years at least. Fast bowlers go through a lot of physical wear and tear and need to be taken care of especially the ones with a lot of potential. I would say the same thing about Junaid, please take care of him.

  • Dummy4 on December 7, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    @desihungama: doctor raised concerns after 1st t20. and the selection questioned here is of 2nd t20. now how is that misbah's fault? he might have been giving interview to najam sehti in his studio that time not in ground. yes we dont like his batting style but at least dont put it on him . lol

  • Dummy4 on December 7, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    Disfunctional backward thinking typical of the way pak cricket is... unfit means shouldnt be playing. Not must play at any cost. He has a hairline fracture.. if he is unable to play again and we loose a quality fast bowler whos fault will that be... totaly shamefull atitude.

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