The Pakistan Cricket Board announced today that medical board has declared Shadab Khan fit for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 after his latest medical reports reflected ZERO viral loads in Shadab’s blood. The leg-spinner of Pakistan cricket team Shadab Khan will now leave for London on Thursday, May 16, where he will consult Doctor Patrick Kennedy on Friday, May 17 before joining the team in Bristol on Monday, 20th May 2019.
However, Shadab’s presences in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 warm-up matches, scheduled for May 24th and 26th against Afghanistan and Bangladesh respectively are subject to his fitness and the team management’s decision. Shadab said: “I am happy to know that the blood tests are negative and I can now return to modest cricket. I was always very self-confident that I would fully recover from the viral infection and will be available for the World Cup 2019.”
Further Shadab added: “Having played and won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, I understand the importance, flavor and glamour of global events and what success in such events means to the players and the public. I am looking forward to featuring in the World Cup and will leave no stone unturned in helping Pakistan put up a strong show. It has been difficult to stay away from international cricket and watch Pakistan play outstandingly – both in Cardiff and Southampton. As a professional cricketer, you want to be part of such games. In both the matches, Pakistan has shown their capability and ability, and I am sure with some fine tuning, we will be ready to take on the world.”
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said: “It is fabulous news and on behalf of the Pakistan cricket team, I look forward to welcoming Shadab back in the squad. Shadab is one of the finest of his generation and is an influential figure in the team. His presence in the dressing room and on the field of play keeps the side geared up and motivated.
The South African added: “Shadab’s inclusion also balances what is a young but extremely talented squad. I understand it will take Shadab some time to be back at his brilliant best as he has not played cricket for a few weeks, but our first game is on May 31 and he has got two weeks to regain complete form and fitness. He is a courageous guy and the way he has fought back to regain fitness is a testament to his attitude and approach, which gives us the encouragement that he will be hopefully available for selection for our World Cup opener.”
PCB Managing Director Wasim Khan said: “The PCB also had a duty of care towards Shadab and that’s precisely why we went for the best specialist in England. So, from that perspective, we are all very happy that he has received a clean chit and can resume normal cricket activities. Shadab is also one of the players who is respected immensely by all the participating sides as he is a quality bowler, fielder and batsman. I am sure his availability will give tremendous confidence and boost to the morale and spirit of the Pakistan cricket team ahead of the pinnacle 50-over competition.”
Shadab Khan was named in the original 15-player ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 squad on April 18. However, he was withdrawn from the series against England after blood tests revealed a virus that required treatment and rest for, at least, four weeks. On April 26, the PCB had set-up Shadab’s appointment with Dr. Kennedy, a world-renowned gastroenterologist and hematologist with specialization in liver diseases in elite sportsmen, who had put him on medication and advised two weeks of complete rest.