Shadab Khan, a star all-rounder for Pakistan, returned to action in the current season of the Pakistan Premier League (PSL), where he is captaining Islamabad United, after missing the limited-over series against New Zealand in January of this year due to a finger injury. He only achieved 20 runs in four innings, thus the outcome was far from satisfactory. Shadab has been pricey with the ball as well, but in the same number of games, he has taken six wickets.
Shadab was caught off guard when a reporter inquired if his marriage has anything to do with the decline in his performance during a PSL press conference earlier this week. The all-rounder, though, responded positively and said his performance has nothing to do with marriage.
“Performance itni achi nahi hain lekin uska shadi se koi taluk nahi hain. (The performance is not good but it has nothing to do with my marriage) You guys know I’m making a return after an injury and my finger has not recovered entirely,” responded Shadab.
He quickly added: “It has recovered but the pain and swelling is still there, so maybe that could be one of the reason. However, this shouldn’t be an excuse, but the dip in my performance has nothing to do with my marriage.”
Days before the most recent PSL season began in February, Shadab married the daughter of former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq. The all-rounder had been playing for the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League when he was hurt.
Shadab’s admission that he has not yet fully recovered from the injury actually infuriated many fans on social media, necessitating the intervention of Islamabad United general manager Rehan-ul-Haq.
A Twitter user tagged Rehan and slammed the management for “running an agenda” on player injuries. His tweet read: “Hello @Rehan_ulhaq Sir! You guys have been running the agenda on player injuries since last season. And continue to claim that we will not risk injury to players. And will take care of the player’s injury. And playing our national side main player(not fully fit)”
Rehan was quick to response as he responded: “Hello sir. Before jumping to conclusions, please understand that it is advised by the physio and doctor to play him since that is the only way he will recover. Thanks.”
The two-time winners, who are now in third place on the six-team PSL points table, have been led by Shadab before. The club has triumphed in four of their six games, including their most recent victory over the Karachi Kings, who set a lofty 202-run goal.
As the competition nears its conclusion, Shadab will be hoping for a turnaround in his own performance, which will be essential in determining which teams advance to the playoffs.
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