Shahid Afridi pulls out of the Caribbean Premier League to continue knee injury rehabilitation

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Afridi will not play in the upcoming edition of the CPL.

Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has pulled out of the upcoming edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in order to tend to his injured knee.

The veteran’s knee injury had initially flared up in the last edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) but the rehabilitation has not gone as quickly as originally planned for the all-rounder.

Announcing his pullout in a tweet on Wednesday, Afridi expressed his disappointment in missing out on the T20 league.

The 38-year-old was slated to turn out for the Jamaica Tallawahs who play their first match of the 2018 CPL on August 10. The league is set to commence late on Wednesday with Trinbago Knight Riders taking on the St. Lucia Stars.

It was meant to be Afridi’s second stint in the CPL after he had turned out for St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the 2015 edition.

Afridi, who called time on his Pakistan career in 2016, had returned from his international retirement earlier this year for a one-off charity T20I between the ICC World XI and the West Indies at Lord’s in July before representing the Edmonton Royals in the inaugural Global T20 Canada.

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Virat Kohli says that Indian batsmen's issues are 'mental' rather than technical

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Virat Kohli has urged fans not to judge his batting unit just yet.

Virat Kohli refuses to believe his fellow India batsmen cannot follow his lead and put England under pressure in the second Test at Lord’s.

Kohli was a lone hand in the tourists’ 31-run defeat at Edgbaston – where he made 200 runs, yet none of his team-mates could top 31 in either innings.

But he sees no reason to suspect India are collectively incapable of adapting to conditions which have in any case, despite a break in the heatwave this week, been more akin to Bangalore than Birmingham so far this summer.

Kohli does not suspect any technical issues against the moving ball.

“We should not judge so fast, and jump to conclusions,” he said. “As a team, we keep patience; we don’t judge so fast. We don’t see any pattern.”

Kohli is nonetheless calling on his team to exercise a little more caution at the start of their innings.

“As far as wickets falling in a heap is concerned, it is not about technique – it is more of a mental aspect,” he said.

“There must be a clear plan of how to face the first 20-30 balls, and more often than not that plan does not involve aggression. We need some composure.”

Kohli does not believe India's batsmen have a technical issue.

Kohli does not believe India’s batsmen have a technical issue.

Kohli has a new opposite number in the batting order, after England captain Joe Root confirmed 20-year-old Ollie Pope will make his debut at number four.

He wishes the youngster well, just not too well.

“It is going to be a big occasion for him,” said the world’s number-one Test batsman.

“I am happy for him – as a cricketer I understand how important it is. I will tell him to enjoy the occasion and not get too many runs.”

Both teams have retained the option of picking a second spinner on a pitch which may still start conspicuously green – depending whether it is cut again before start of play – but is thought to be baked dry underneath by months of un-English sunshine.

India are most likely to prefer wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav to his fellow left-armer Ravindra Jadeja, alongside Ravi Ashwin, if they do alter the balance of their attack.

Kohli said: “It could be a tempting thought, two spinners are definitely in contention.

“The pitch looked very hard, the surface very dry. It has been very hot in London for the last couple of months.

“There is good grass cover, (but) that is required basically to keep the wicket together – otherwise it would be very difficult to hold it together.”

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Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez reportedly considering international retirement after list demotion

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Hafeez could be about to call time on his international career.

Veteran Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez is contemplating retirement from international cricket if the latest reports are to be believed.

According to a report by Pakistan’s DawnNewsTV, the 37-year-old is miffed with the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) decision to demote him from Category A to B in the latest central-contracts list released this week.

The all-rounder has been a regular in the top category of PCB’s central contracts for some time now but he has found himself demoted to the second-tier with Babar Azam taking his place in Category A.

According to sources close to the player, Hafeez is disillusioned due to the ‘discriminatory treatment’ meted out to him.

“Mohammad Hafeez will not sign the central contract,” the source was quoted as saying by DawnNewsTV.

The source also revealed that the reason Hafeez did not play in the fifth and final ODI between Zimbabwe and Pakistan was in protest to not being picked in the preceding four matches.

Hafeez did not play in any of the five ODIs against Zimbabwe.

Hafeez did not play in any of the five ODIs against Zimbabwe.

Hafeez has played 50 Tests, 200 ODIs and 83 T20s for Pakistan so far in his long career after making his international debut in 2003.

He had only recently returned to the limited-overs side after being reported for a suspect bowling action for the third time in his career during an ODI against Sri Lanka last year.

After remodeling his action once again, the all-rounder was picked in the Pakistan ODI squad which recently blanked Zimbabwe by 5-0 but failed to get a single appearance.

In the latest central contracts announced by the PCB, skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir and Yasir Shah are the players included in the top-tier Category A.

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