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PCB Considers Resting Shaheen Afridi for Initial NZ T20Is

In a recent development, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is considering benching Shaheen Shah Afridi, the fast bowler, for the initial three T20I matches against New Zealand. This decision aligns with PCB’s policy to reduce the workload on the team’s leading fast bowlers.

The PCB is currently in consultation regarding the protection of pacers from unnecessary strain. The upcoming series against New Zealand will serve as a testing ground for the form and fitness of newcomers to the team. Fast bowlers making a comeback are expected to have more opportunities to be included in the T20I series against the Kiwis.

There is a possibility that leading fast bowlers, including Shaheen, will be rested either for the first part of the series or for the entire series against the visitors. The series is scheduled to commence on April 18.

This development follows the PCB’s decision to replace Shaheen as the T20I captain, reinstating Babar Azam in his place. Shaheen reportedly expressed dissatisfaction with the board’s abrupt decision to remove him from captaincy.

The players are currently undergoing fitness training at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul. Reports from the camp suggest that Shaheen was taken aback by a statement attributed to him by the board. He was quoted saying that as a player, it was important for him to support Babar as a captain. He also reportedly expressed concerns about not being consulted before the issuance of such a statement.

It is speculated that the decision to bench Shaheen in the T20I series is linked to the 23-year-old’s rejection of the statement. However, the final decision will be made after observing his conduct in the lead-up to the series.

While Shaheen could be included in the squad against New Zealand, he may not be part of the Playing XI for the first three T20I matches to be held at the Pindi Stadium.

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