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Shaheen Afridi Opens Up About Fitness Struggles and Urges Athletes to Manage Workload [Exclusive Interview]

Pakistan’s ace pacer and Lahore Qalandars’ skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi recently gave an interview to ProPakistani in which he shared his thoughts on maintaining fitness and performance as a professional athlete.

Shaheen also recalled the heart-wrenching moment from the final of the T20 World Cup 2022 when his injury broke the bridge between Pakistan and the World Cup trophy.

Talking about his injury and the process of rehabilitation, Shaheen told ProPakistani that he is fully fit and ready to bounce back on the field.

He emphasized the importance of proper training and recovery, saying “The best work is being done with the medical panel. It was a difficult time handling the injury but now, I feel much better and 100% fit.”

He also spoke about the challenges of cricket, saying “When you have to play league and other matches, it becomes hard to manage workload and that’s when injuries come.”

The fiery pacer further stated that maintaining fitness is necessary to prevent injuries and exhibit optimal performance. The cricketer also highlighted the importance of self-discipline, stating “A cricketer should learn to manage his own workload.” He explained that managing one’s workload and ensuring that the body is prepared for the rigors of the sport is crucial for success.

Recalling his time being injured, Shaheen Shah Afridi said, “Every cricketer misses playing when he is not playing.”

He further remarked that he feared getting out of action for a long period and thus focused all his energy on getting fit again. However, he felt relieved to know that his teammates stepped up in his absence to keep the pace attack as formidable as it was with their prime pacer in full swing.

The 22-year-old also took a trip down memory lane to reminisce the most difficult moment of his career when he was down on the ground after a fielding effort aggravated his knee injury but he needed to get up and bowl for the sake of the World Cup.

Sharing his side of the story about the injury scare which seemed to snatch away the World Cup from Pakistan, Shaheen Shah Afridi said, “It was a crucial catch. If I had not taken that catch, Harry Brook alone could have driven the game away from us.”

When I took the catch, it twisted my knee and I felt like I had sustained the injury again. For the last three months, I had not stretched my knee. I used to even used to offer prayers while sitting on a chair.

Lahore Qalandars’ captain also discussed the importance of mental strength and focus when it comes to achieving success in cricket. He said, “When you want to achieve something, there is always extra effort required to make that happen.”

Shaheen is expected to get back in action in the upcoming edition of the Pakistan Super League as he will be leading his side, Lahore Qalandars.

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