Quetta Gladiators’ veteran Shahid Afridi has announced his exit from the remainder of the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2022, citing a back injury that has gone to an “intolerable” level.
In a video message posted on his YouTube channel, Lala said he had been carrying his lower-back injury for more than 15 years, adding it was now causing unbearable pain to his entire body.
“Goodbye to PSL. My body is in serious pain,” wrote Afridi in his tweet.
“I cannot bear it anymore,” Afridi said.
The star-allrounder thanked Gladiators’ owner Nadeem Omar for his all-out support to him.
“I want to apologise to fans for not being able to play the entire PSL and sign off on a good note”.
He hoped to undergo the rehabilitation process and expressed his desire to return to the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) and other T10 leagues in time to come.
Afridi said his welfare foundation was his “second innings and the most important one” to him.
He urged fans to pray for his health. “With the grace of God, I will appear in another league [soon],” said the former captain.
In his last game against Islamabad United yesterday, Afridi bowled four overs and got two wickets for 27 runs. However, he was yet to bat when the team chased down the 205-run target with the loss of five wickets.
He also had back issue in the same match. After he picked up Muhammad Akhlaq’s wicket, Afridi did his signature pose and leaned back, his back started hurting and it was evident as he applied pressure and bent forward to ease the pain.
It is pertinent to mention here that this was the last PSL season for Afridi as he had announced it last year.
Afridi last played international cricket more than five years ago, but continued to take part in the PSL ever since its inception. He led Zalmi in the first season and was part of the team that won the title the following year.
Pakistan Cricket team’s front line pacer and Afridi’s son-in-law to-be Shaheen Shah Afridi took to Twitter and wrote: “Your presence will be missed in the PSL Lala @SAfridiOfficial. You are the pride of Pakistan for a reason. Get well soon. #HopeNotOut #Forever”