Pakistan speedster Shaheen Afridi was forced to leave the pitch after struggling with a possible niggle during the final of the 2022 T20 World Cup at the MCG on Sunday, November 13.
In the 13th over of the England innings, Afridi took a brilliant catch off Shadab Khan's bowling to dismiss Harry Brook. Afridi, stationed at long-off, ran and bent to complete the catch overhead. Moments after the dismissal, he limped off the ground, indicating signs of pain in his knees.
The 22-year-old returned to the field after the completion of the 14th over by Naseem Shah. The left-arm pacer was handed the responsibility of bowling the 16th over.
Shaheen Afridi bowled a wide yorker to Moeen Ali and beat his bat. However, the lanky pacer once again limped from discomfort. He had a wry smile before walking off the pitch for the second time but was greeted with pats on his back in the Pakistan dugout.
Many cricket fans on social media showed solidarity with the pacer for enduring an injury at such a crucial moment in his career. Some were disheartened by the incident and wished the young pacer a speedy recovery.
Here are some of the reactions:
Shaheen Afridi picked up prized wicket of Alex Hales
While defending a target of 138, Shaheen Afridi picked up the big wicket of England's destructive opener Alex Hales. The speedster bowled a sharp good length delivery to shatter Hales' defense. Afridi conceded 13 runs from 2.1 overs to finish the final with figures of 1/13.
Pakistan's part-time spinner Iftikhar Ahmed came in to complete Afridi's 16th over. Iftikhar conceded just three runs in the first three deliveries but Ben Stokes hammered him for a six and a four.
The unavailability of Afridi in the death overs dented Pakistan's chances of defending a moderate total as England wrapped the game in 19 overs.
Stokes remained unbeaten on 52 to take England past the finish line despite early wickets tumbling in the powerplay overs.