Pakistan news June 3, 2014

Mohammad Irfan focusing on 2015 World Cup


Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Irfan is optimistic of being fit for the 2015 World Cup as he continues his rehabilitation from a hip injury sustained last November. Irfan is unlikely to be picked for the short tour of Sri Lanka in August but a more realistic target would be the limited-overs matches in UAE against Australia and New Zealand from October.

"I know I have to manage my workload and playing Tests is an added pressure, hence I have decided to play T20s and ODIs only," Irfan said during the summer camp in Lahore. "I will have to ensure that I don't get dropped. I don't know what the selectors have decided for me for this year, but I am focusing on the 2015 World Cup.

"I am disappointed at missing a lot of cricket but I am working hard on my fitness and ensuring this time that I can go a long way without breaking down."

In the last 18 days, Irfan has undergone extensive fitness sessions in the summer camp at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. He has started bowling in the nets, his daily routine split into two sessions of 30 minutes each.

Irfan, 31, has been sidelined since he injured his hip during the second T20 international against South Africa in Dubai in November 2013. After six weeks of rehab following the hairline fracture, Irfan made a swift return during the domestic Twenty20 Cup in Rawalpindi, but only aggravated the injury, resulting in to more fractures to his hip. Since then, Irfan has been at the NCA, working with doctors on a specialised rehab programme. However, in April, a medical report indicated that he did not require a hip surgery.

Irfan said he was looking forward to bowling in bouncy pitches in Australia which would suit his high-arm action. "It's a big event for every player. In Australia, the pitches are very bouncy and are suitable for me and I can do well. If I can sustain 100% fitness, I will be able to win matches single-handedly."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on June 3, 2014, 20:18 GMT

    he should be managed carefully. its good that he has decided not to play tests. i think he should also be managed well in odis. should be resting in meaningless odis in a series. and focus on some. i think he should play only 1 of 2 series against nz and aus. should not be playing all games in uae. we need him fit for world cup.

    also he should be managed in domestic games. his recent injury started from playing against doctor's advice in a t20i but he was not fully recovered when he broke down again in a domestic game. wish him good luck and hoping to see him back in action soon.

  • ESPN on June 3, 2014, 18:12 GMT

    Where is Muhammad Amir? Irfan should play selected ODIs but full part of T20 team.

  • Android on June 3, 2014, 13:34 GMT

    Irfan should only play T20s, he shouldn't play ODIs. It's a good thing that he has decided to just play limited overs' matches but he should NOT play ODIs. That way pakistan can produce more ODI and Test bowlers and Irfan can have a longer career as a T20 Bowler. . Irfan should retire from ODIs and tests after the 2015 World Cup. Anwar Ali,Azhar Attari,Ehsan Adil or Imram Khan can replace him in the ODIs/Tests.

  • Arif on June 3, 2014, 13:11 GMT

    If managed properly by the PCB and not forced to take the field while injured, Irfan wouldn't be in this predicament. I just hope for his sake, his workload is managed properly. All the best Irfan. Bangladeshi Fan.

  • Android on June 3, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    Irfan play will be a huge benefit Inshallah

  • Taimor on June 3, 2014, 11:06 GMT

    Irfan should only focus in ODI's. When he comes back, make him play just a couple T20's and keep including him in the ODI team. And once he plays 1 or 2 T20's, keep him away from that format (also tests) and let him play both the formats once the 2015 World Cup is over. However, I would honestly pick him only in ODI's. He is very tall and that's why his fitness will be always a test for him to pass every now and then.

    Wishing to see him back in the UAE series against the Aussies and Kiwis inshallah.

  • Anver on June 3, 2014, 10:55 GMT

    Wish him a speedy recovery & join the Pak squad for WC 2015 !!!

  • Android on June 3, 2014, 10:46 GMT

    very good to hear one good news from Pakistan cricket he should consider only t20 and odi at first place good luck

  • Imran on June 3, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    From the first day that we saw M. Irfan you knew that his career would not last very long. His physics defy convention in the sport and from past examples we knew that it was only a matter of time before he becomes injured and benched. Should he return for the WC15 he can only be expected to offer mystery and lack of experience against opposing players. So while he's sitting and dreaming about 'winning matches single handedly' Pakistan will have to move on and find a long term servant to the fast bowling department. One that preferably knows not to make a hole in his own plate.

  • Android on June 3, 2014, 9:46 GMT

    I think that he made clever decision just to stick with T20 and ODI's because we need him fit and firing for WC 2015 which is going to be held on fast bouncy tracks of Aus and NZ. and I feel he is going to be a trump card for Pakistan

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