Pakistan news

Irfan selected against doctor's advice

Umar Farooq

December 7, 2013

Comments: 22 | Text size: A | A

Mohammad Irfan ecstatic after a wicket falls, Pakistan v South Africa, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 1st day, October 14, 2013
Mohammad Irfan broke down after shouldering a heavy workload in the UAE © AFP

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Albert_cambell 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.

Posted by Desihungama 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.

Posted by android_user 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.

Posted by ProdigyA 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.

Posted by ICKY 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.

Posted by espncricinfomobile 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

Posted by Morfi 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!

Posted by jack500197 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.

Posted by   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

Posted by   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.

Posted by 0mar1 on (December 7, 2013, 15:05 GMT)

A bowling phenom who can not last a moderate length series is no phenom at all....

There are lots of other young quicks waiting for their chance so either shape up or get out of the way.

The good news is that the injury was apparently picked up during fielding and the Giant's bowling action seem to be appropriate for his stature.

Posted by Cric_fever_forever on (December 7, 2013, 14:49 GMT)

hmmmmm injury are part of game why soo much much fuss about it. maybe its blessing in disguise for him as he would get rest before important event are coming up early next year. im sure he would come fitter and stronger always be postives guys

Posted by Desihungama on (December 7, 2013, 14:43 GMT)

I put the blame squarely on Misbah. He is the one on the ground and he should know better how and when to utilize his players. Really, there was no need to get Irfan injured despite everyone raising the issue that Irfan is a special case and needs to be managed on the likes of Dale Styne and Morkel.

Posted by Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on (December 7, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

Irfan no matter one of the best why risk when bowlers are so fragile. Bowing fast is great! but Bowling consistently fast is even greater! All recent crop of PAK fast bowlers look like one time wonder kids who bowl brilliantly during debut and get injured when opposition starts to score of them. Why blame Selectors when real talent like Imran, Wasim and Waqar is so rare to find.

Posted by wapuser on (December 7, 2013, 9:58 GMT)

Pcb should give him some rest.....Where is umar gul???

Posted by I.Aziz on (December 7, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

Error was by tour management not PCB and it was a bad call by them. Deplorable condition of Pakistan cricket is mainly due to reasons other than cricket. Seeing Irfan in such condition is bad but at the same time going overboard with comments is also not good, in the end they were just trying to win the last game of the tour so give them a break please.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

its not pcb who played him in t20. It was team management and tour selection comittee which consists of Manager-coach-captain. If team doctor advised not to play him then they should not have played him. Now for because of 1 t20 he will end up missing lot more games.

PCB's fault is that they should have taken action after these reports. and also issue guideline about players.

His load should be managed very sensibly by team management. He is certainly not fittest player around.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 9:02 GMT)

Half of my pakistani friend comments are wayward...irfan was selected for SA tour and got injured...he is not selected for srilakan tour..soo dont get happy and try to understand the article and in context it has been written.

Posted by android_user on (December 7, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

very irresponsible attitude by pcb.who wants a player in their team who is not fit.fact of matter is youngster pacers of pak are not upto the mark and so pcb selected irfan even against doc's he is out for months and may never be same again .way over the top reckless behaviour by pcb.

Posted by android_user on (December 7, 2013, 6:01 GMT)

IRFAN is a great bowler,he can dilever nice for pakistan

Posted by Saif-Ali on (December 7, 2013, 5:47 GMT)

That's a great sign for pakistan cricket he is a danger bowler in the world after dale steyn so junaid, irfan, bhatti, anwar, afridi, ajmal, hafeez very gud bowling attacks nd sum of the allrounders very gud sign for team

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 4:33 GMT)

Wow!!! The PCB sets a great example... I hope other boards don't follow suit!! And then fans like us wonder, why Pakistan team is in such a deplorable condition!!! Its just so obvious!!!

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