Asia Cup 2022: [WATCH] “Fast bowler ko toh effort lagana padega sir” - Rishabh Pant, Virat Kohli’s heartwarming interaction with injured Shaheen Afridi

Shaheen Afridi, Asia Cup 2022
Indian cricketers interact with Shaheen Afridi. Pics: PCB

Team India cricketers Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, and Yuzvendra Chahal met injured Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Afridi in Dubai on Thursday (August 25). Both sides are in the UAE for the Asia Cup 2022, which will begin on August 27.

India and Pakistan will kick off their campaign by locking horns in Dubai on Sunday, August 28. Afridi, however, has been ruled out of the tournament due to a ligament injury, which he picked up in Sri Lanka.

A day after images of Kohli and Pakistan skipper Babar Azam meeting each other went viral, the camaraderie between cricketers from the neighboring nations continued. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) shared a video of Kohli, Pant, Chahal, and Rahul catching up with Afridi and inquiring about his injury.

Chahal and the Pakistan fast bowler exchanged a warm hug, while Kohli and Afridi seemed engaged in some intense talk. In his inimitable style, Pant had a light-hearted interaction with the Pakistan left-armer.

Afridi told the Indian keeper-batter that he was having to put in extra effort to walk due to the protective equipment he was wearing on his injured leg. Pant replied in a cheeky tone:

“Fast bowler ko toh effort lagana padega sir. Compulsory hain (Fast bowler has to make effort, its compulsory).”

Pakistan coaches Mohammad Yousuf and Saqlain Mushtaq were also seen having a hearty chat with former Indian left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi.

Pakistan head coach backs team to overcome Shaheen Afridi’s loss

While Afridi’s absence from the Asia Cup 2022 is a big setback for Pakistan, head coach Mushtaq asserted that the team would overcome it. The former skipper backed Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain and Haris Rauf to lift their game on the big stage.

Speaking at a press conference, Mushtaq commented:

"Since last few years, these three have been executing the plans and demands of the Pakistan team really well. The captain, me as a head coach and the entire support staff has confidence in their abilities. Shaheen used to lead the attack, but these three also on a given day or situation can change the game."

Afridi was the Man of the Match for his three-wicket haul when India met Pakistan at the T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai. He dismissed Rohit Sharma, Rahul and Kohli as Pakistan went on to hammer the Men in Blue by 10 wickets.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert
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