LAHORE: Leg-Spinner Shadab Khan, after testing negative for virus in his blood, was declared fit to play the World Cup 2019, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced in a press release on Tuesday.
Khan will leave for London on Thursday, May 16, and the next day will consult Dr Patrick Kennedy and will join the Pakistan team in Bristol on May 20.
Though Khan’s participation in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 warm-up matches, scheduled for 24 and 26 May against Afghanistan and Bangladesh respectively, are subjected to team management decision and his fitness.
Khan said, “I am delighted to know that the blood tests are negative and I can now return to competitive cricket. I was always very confident that I would fully recover from the viral infection and will be available for the World Cup.”
“Having played and won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, I understand the importance, flavour and glamour of global events and what success in such events mean to the players and the public. I am looking forward to featuring in the World Cup and will leave no stone unturned in helping Pakistan put up a strong show.”
Khan said it was not easy for him to witness Pakistan play outstandingly – both in Cardiff and Southampton from afar and stay away from professional cricket.
He said, “As a professional cricketer, you want to be part of such games. In both the matches, Pakistan have shown their capability and ability, and I am sure with some fine tuning, we will be ready to take on the world.”
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur expressed gladness over the development and said that he is looking forward to welcoming Shadab back in the squad, adding, “Shadab is one of the finest of his generation and is an influential figure in the team. His presence in the dressing room and on the field of play keeps the side geared up and motivated.”
“Shadab’s inclusion also balances what is a young but extremely talented squad,” said Arthur, adding that Shadab has got two weeks to regain complete form and fitness.
Arthur further said, “he is a brave lad and the way he has fought back to regain fitness is a testament to his attitude and approach, which gives us the encouragement that he will be hopefully available for selection for our World Cup opener.”
Shadab was part of the original 15-player ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 squad on 18 April but was withdrawn from the series against England after his blood tests indicated a virus that required treatment and rest for at least four weeks.
PCB, On April 26, Shadab’s appointment with Dr Kennedy, a world-renowned gastroenterologist and hepatologist with specialisation in liver diseases in elite sportsmen, who had put him on medication and advised two weeks of complete rest.