Pakistan's star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi has said that he is excited to be back on the field with his side Lahore Qalandars ahead of the eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Qalandars ended their title drought after beating Multan Sultans by 42 runs in the final of PSL 7 under the leadership of Afridi.
During preparations for PSL 8, the defending champions played a warm-up match against PDP Class of 22 at Gymkhana Cricket Ground, Lahore on Tuesday.
The left-arm pacer took to Twitter and shared pictures of the practice match.
"Excited to be back on the field! Warming up with my Lahore Qalandars family," he wrote.
During the match, Afridi continued his trademark style and got a wicket in his first over.
It is worth noting here that Afridi suffered a knee injury while taking a catch of Harry Brook during the T20 World Cup 2022 final against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Since then the pacer has been out of competitive cricket and will be returning to action on February 13 when the Qalandars take on Multan Sultans in the opening clash of PSL 8 at the Multan Cricket Stadium following an opening ceremony.
In a recent interview with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Shaheen revealed that he felt like giving up during his rehabilitation.
"There were times when I wanted to give up," Shaheen told PCB Digital. "I was working on only one muscle and it was not improving. Often during the rehabilitation sessions, I used to say to myself ‘this is enough, I cannot do this anymore'."
However, the 22-year-old got inspiration from his bowling by watching his videos on YouTube.
"But then I used to watch my bowling on YouTube and see how well I had done and that motivated me and I told myself ‘to push a little more’ … It is frustrating for a fast bowler to miss cricket because of an injury," he added.
Among players who made their PSL debuts in 2018, Shaheen has the most wickets (70). He is also third on the list of the highest wicket-takers in the tournament history behind Wahab Riaz (103) and Hasan Ali (81), who have played 27 and 14 more matches than him respectively.
Lahore Qalandars squad
Rashid Khan, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, David Wiese, Abdullah Shafique, Shane Dadswell, Kamran Ghulam, Zaman Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Hussain Talat, Sikandar Raza, Liam Dawson, Dilbar Hussain, Mirza Tahir Baig, Ahmed Danlyal, Shawaiz Irfan, Jordan Cox, Jalat Khan, Ahsan Bhatti, Sam Billings (partial replacement for Rashid Khan) and Kusal Mendis (partial replacement for Jordan Cox)