Shaheen Afridi looks on during the third day of the first Test match at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on July 18. AFP
Pakistan’s first-Test star fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi has a bruised knee and won’t play in the second cricket Test against Sri Lanka starting on Sunday.
The 22-year-old Afridi was the pick of the seamers from either side in the first test, finishing with four wickets in the first innings that Pakistan won by four wickets in Galle.
Pakistan team officials confirmed on Friday that he would not play in the second Test. Afridi finished on 99 Test wickets at the end of Sri Lanka’s first innings and hopes of him completing the milestone of 100 wickets in the second test ended with the injury.
Afridi, fielding at mid-wicket, dived in an attempt to cut off a Dinesh Chandimal boundary on day three and was seen hobbling off the field. He was taken for scans and although there was no fracture, swelling and pain ruled him out.
Pakistan has uncapped quick Harris Rauf or seam bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf as replacements.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, brought in uncapped off-spinner Lakshitha Manasinghe after Maheesh Theekshana was ruled out of the match. Theekshana sustained a cut on his right index finger during the first test.
The hosts also recalled Pathum Nissanka, who had tested positive for COVID-19 during the Australia series.
Although Sri Lanka has not called up a replacement wicketkeeper, a team spokesman said that Dinesh Chandimal is set to take over wicketkeeping duties from Niroshan Dickwella.
Chandimal has been in strong form with the bat – his unbeaten double hundred against Australia in the second test two weeks ago was followed by 76 and 94 runs not out in the first test against Pakistan.
Pakistan chased down a record 342 runs to win the first test. It’s the highest successful run chase ever in Galle.
The second test scheduled was scheduled to take place in Colombo but was shifted to Galle due to political unrest in the capital Colombo.
The country is going through its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948 and there are severe shortages of essential items such as fuel, cooking gas and medicine. There have been weeks-long protests outside the Presidential Secretariat and earlier this month President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had to flee the country and resign from his post.