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  1. #1
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    "Medics told me it would be better if I either reduced or gave up playing cricket" : Rumman Raees

    A member of Pakistan’s 2017 Champions Trophy winning squad, Rumman Raees appeared to be well on the road to establishing himself in the national side when he was hit by a series of injuries which put a halt to his career. The 28-year-old who has represented Pakistan on 17 occasions since his debut in 2016, recently made a comeback to competitive cricket for Islamabad United during PSL 5.

    In an exclusive interview with PakPassion.net, Rumman spoke about the highs and lows of his career, his battle with injuries and how he almost gave up playing cricket, his ambition to make a comeback to the national side and why Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah need encouragement not criticism.



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    PakPassion.net: In 2017, it seemed that your international career was about to take off. Tell us in your own words what went wrong?

    Rumman Raees:
    The boost I got from my performances in 2017 to 2018 made those years the highlight of my career, but sadly, it all went wrong soon after that. Usually cricketers speak of the highs and lows of their career after playing for many years but for me, this stage came very early and was a pretty depressing part of my life. This happened when during a game in PSL 3 against Quetta Gladiators, my knee got stuck in the wet ground whilst fielding which caused me a knee injury and I had to sit out the rest of the tournament. At that point, it seemed that this was my only problem and I had hopes of getting fit soon, but I was very wrong about that.


    PakPassion.net: Was the knee injury your only hurdle in making a comeback?

    Rumman Raees:
    That knee injury took about 8 months of rehabilitation to fix completely and just when I thought that was all behind me, I was hit by another problem. During PSL 4 after I had played 8 games, I started to get some issues in my back with 4 discs – L4, L5, S1 and S3 - being dislocated. Fast-bowlers have always had to deal with dislocated discs but what really threw me was that when I had MRI and X-rays, it came to light that I had developed a Synovial cyst within my L4 and L5 discs. This cyst was about 4-5 cm long and was causing me immense amounts of pain. The situation became so bad that for six months I even needed assistance in simple daily tasks and thankfully my mother and wife helped me out with that. I would get numbness in my legs and I would lie on one side of my body for most of the day which was very painful and depressing.


    PakPassion.net: What advice did you get from the doctors?

    Rumman Raees:
    This was a time of great mental stress for me but as they say, the worst times sometimes bring out the best in a person and that is what happened. Faced with this terrible situation, I developed the willpower to fight against all the odds which helped me make a comeback in PSL 5. But to get that to stage, I had to battle my way through many uphill struggles – one of which was the advice of the doctors after my back surgery in 2019. The medics told me it would be better if I either reduced or gave up playing cricket altogether. This was because there was a real danger that if I continued playing and pushed myself harder, I could end up possibly being paralyzed as my discs were so badly dehydrated that they could cause real damage to me. Things got to a stage that I was pondering announcing my retirement from cricket, but I held back from taking such a decision as I wanted to give myself another chance.


    PakPassion.net: How did you overcome these hurdles and what’s the situation now?

    Rumman Raees:
    I decided to take matters into my own hands and worked on reducing my weight. Of course, the amount and type of gym work I could do was limited by my condition as I wasn’t allowed to pick up any weights. This was a problem for me as picking up weights is an essential part of training and what is needed to become a world-class athlete, which was similar to what I had done in 2016-2017. However, I did what it took to get myself into shape and to achieve my goals and made a comeback in PSL 5. I now intend to use whatever time I have left to play cricket to represent my country, my domestic team and my franchise in the PSL.


    PakPassion.net: What kept you going in those dark days when you were injured and your career was in doubt?

    Rumman Raees:
    My hair was black in 2016 and in 2020 it’s very close to becoming white due to the stresses I have faced in my life! I had become very depressed during my injuries and had become irritable towards my family. My problem was that I was lying around watching cricket on television and feeling frustrated about the fact that from being a member of the Pakistan side, I had been reduced to an onlooker just following the game on television. On top of that I was unable to play any league cricket which was very disheartening for me.

    But throughout the dark days, I knew that in the same way I got so much attention and hype in 2017 and then fell by the wayside, there would come a day when I will be back to my best again. And here I must thank the people around me such as my family and Nadeem Khan, Coach Azam Khan and my trainer Hanif Malik – all of whom motivated me and kept me on an even keel during such trying times. Thankfully, I made my comeback in PSL 5 and now I am named in the Sindh First XI squad for the upcoming National T20 Cup, so things are looking much brighter.


    PakPassion.net: You must have had a lot of negative comments directed at you during the time you were away from cricket – how did you handle that?

    Rumman Raees:
    Yes, a lot of people told me that there was no way I could make a comeback after my injuries but it’s in my nature to disprove people when they speak in that way about me. I don’t make it a matter of ego and turn on others but instead look to improve myself. During the height of the COVID-19 crisis in Pakistan, I was involved in a lot of charity work and a few people even took that opportunity to say that it seemed I had given up cricket and was now just busy with charity work. The fact was that there was a need for such charity work in those days and I took on the challenge and the moment I got a chance to say so, I explained to all that cricket was still very much on my mind and that I would continue to do my utmost to restart my international career and finish my career on a high note.


    PakPassion.net: How hard are you working to make a comeback to the Pakistan side?

    Rumman Raees:
    To be very honest, if we look at the sort of injuries and the break from cricket I have had, I feel that the chances of making it back to the Pakistan side appear to be nil. This is human nature as one starts doubting their own abilities if they haven’t performed on a cricket field for a while. However, I do know that to get myself back on track for a comeback I will need to put in a lot of hard work which I am happy to say I am doing now. This involves taking care of my diet and given the issues with my back and the fact that I cannot lift weights, I am focussing on swimming a lot to get myself fit for future challenges. Not only am I working on fitness, I am also looking to bowl as many overs as possible as that is vital practice for any fast-bowler. The idea being that I will be in prime condition if I am asked to play back-to-back T20s, One-Dayers or even 4-Day games – all of that will help build my case for a future recall to the Pakistan side.


    PakPassion.net: How difficult was it to make a comeback in PSL 5, especially considering the fact that you had played no domestic cricket before that?

    Rumman Raees:
    I was still completing rehabilitation for my injury before the start of PSL 5. I had trained very hard for the preceding six months and had tried very hard to find a place in any domestic cricket tournament before the start of this year’s PSL, but unfortunately no places were available for me in any team. All I could do was play some low-key club games until the start of the PSL. So, my first real competitive game of cricket since March 2019 was the Islamabad United match versus Quetta Gladiators in February 2020. Considering this was my first game in many months, I bowled well and was relieved to know that I didn’t feel too fatigued after that match. During that game, I was constantly praying to the Almighty to get me through the game without any mishap and thankfully my comeback passed off without any problems. My performances in the PSL this year helped me reach the conclusion that I had recovered well enough to continue playing in future.


    PakPassion.net: What is the reason behind your insistence to continue playing despite advice to the contrary from the doctors?

    Rumman Raees:
    It’s is true that I have been told in no uncertain terms by doctors to either stop playing cricket completely or play very few games in a season to lessen the load on the body. But my view is that if I follow this advice, it will be unfair to my domestic side and will also put a burden on my cricket career. The decision I have taken is that I will continue working hard and not disappoint anyone else, regardless of the consequences. If I am selected to play for any side, they will expect my full commitment and will not want someone who plays a few games only. I know that this is risky for me and could affect my life, but I am convinced that since I am doing this for the right reasons, the Almighty will help me through this. Cricket is not only my bread and butter, it is also my passion and I will take whatever risks I have to play the game as long as I can.


    PakPassion.net: What is the reason for so many injuries to Pakistani players in recent times?

    Rumman Raees:
    It’s true that apart from my injury, we have seen players like Hassan Ali and a few others also face injuries which is worrying. If we look at the load being put on bowlers’ bodies in the previous 4-5 years, then it’s clear that we are playing much more cricket than before. Looking at our domestic season, I feel that there is very little time to rest between different formats. So, we have T20s, 4-Day games, One-Day games and then PSL after that. When PSL ends, there can be Pakistan’s international series which the players to have to play in as well.

    So, the number of games being played is a lot and it’s possible that we as players are making some mistakes in the way we are training to compete at the international level. In my case, only after participating in the PSL did I realize what it means to correctly prepare for the physical demands of top-quality cricket. I am happy to say that things are getting better and in the last two years or so, the physical condition of our players has improved a lot. We are taking better care of our diets and the new system in place by the PCB of carrying out fitness tests every 2 months is having a positive effect as well. I feel that if we continue like this, the physical fitness of our domestic and international cricketers will only get better.


    PakPassion.net: How impressed are you by the emergence of our new fast-bowlers?

    Rumman Raees:
    When I debuted for Pakistan in 2016, I was a little unsure of myself but all that changed as I played more games for the national side and that really helped build my confidence too. I feel that all our new bowlers need a proper chance to develop themselves at the international level. We need to get away from judging the level of players on performances in one or two games. We are currently blessed with a new and excellent pace attack which consists of names like Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain and Haris Rauf. The youngsters are lucky to be guided by the likes of experienced fast bowlers such as Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz which will really help them improve in the future. But we do need to tell the youngsters that we have full faith in them and that we consider them our main strike bowlers and match-winners, as that will boost their morale and help them gain confidence. Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah are our wicket-taking bowlers and the more confident they feel in themselves, the more wickets they will take for Pakistan.


    PakPassion.net: How important is it for a young fast-bowler to get that sort of confidence from his coach?

    Rumman Raees:
    During my time in the Pakistan side and with Islamabad United, I was always told by Sarfaraz Ahmed and Misbah-ul-Haq that they trusted me to win games for them. When a player hears this from his seniors and coaches, it increases his confidence and he feels that he can conquer the world. It doesn’t matter if he is gets hit for fours and sixes, he then has only one thing on his mind which is to take wickets. When I was playing T20Is alongside the likes of Hassan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Wahab Riaz and Junaid Khan we were told by Mickey Arthur and Azhar Mahmood that all we had to worry about was to take wickets and not to worry about containing the opposition because when a bowler worries about conceding runs, then the batsman will simply get emboldened and score even more runs.
    Last edited by MenInG; 14th September 2020 at 10:09.


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  2. #2
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    Another story and another career of a pacer in cricket which proves that it is physically the most demanding job in cricket. It must have been really tough for him coming out of that knee injury only to realize that his back is having issues which are so problematic that he might get paralyzed.

    What I have observed is that sometimes when you keep on playing cricket without much injuries while working on your fitness then even areas with slight problems keep going on and respond accordingly. However, when you get injured and injury requires rehabilitation for months, some underlying problems which werent as serious before and were adjusting with the workload suddenly starts to appear when your body is rehabilitating. We observed the similar thing with Hasan Ali who had back issue which during rehabilitation and no cricket also allowed another issue which was related to ribs come into forefront and then again back issue reappeared. We have seen them with other fast bowlers through out the history as well that they sometimes get stuck into that loop of problem of injury after injury.

    Rumman is a decent bowler and an honest trier especially in white ball cricket. Wish him luck for the future.
    Last edited by Titan24; 14th September 2020 at 18:36.

  3. #3
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    I really think he should end his career because the risk of getting paralyzed is way too big imo "It’s is true that I have been told in no uncertain terms by doctors to either stop playing cricket completely or play very few games in a season to lessen the load on the body"

    I know it's his bread and butter but you can do anything with your life but if you're paralyzed than you can't do anything

  4. #4
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    "It’s true that apart from my injury, we have seen players like Hassan Ali and a few others also face injuries which is worrying. If we look at the load being put on bowlers’ bodies in the previous 4-5 years, then it’s clear that we are playing much more cricket than before. Looking at our domestic season, I feel that there is very little time to rest between different formats. So, we have T20s, 4-Day games, One-Day games and then PSL after that. When PSL ends, there can be Pakistan’s international series which the players to have to play in as well."

    Something which PCB and management needs to look at. Better workload management in domestics as well as international matches along with not allowing every young player to T20 leagues is something which can be done.

  5. #5
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    Something not right here.

    So many questions spring to mind.

    Why does this keep happening to Pakistani cricketers.

    Should this guy even be playing cricket?

    Why are these injuries being so badly managed.



  6. #6
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    Totally a contrast to Sharjeel Khan's story.

    Remained in shadows for almost 2 years, worked extremely hard, took matter into his own hands and pushed himself to extremes to get back to playing something that was caused due to him giving his best during fielding in a match. Concedes that his international career might be over without whining.

    In contrast, Sharjeel conspired to spot fix, was charged, didn't show any remorse, didn't even admit his guilt for a long time, was banned for 2.5 years. In those intervening years, he didn't even work on his fitness, and returned just as unfit and bulky as he was before getting the ban.

    What happened was, everyone was excited to have Sharjeel Khan back in PSL, while no one knew Rumman was also making a comeback after spending years in shadows.

    Now Sharjeel is being touted to return to the national side with open arms even though he brought the game itself and Pakistan Cricket in disrepute.

    If anything, Rumman's attitude and efforts must be commended. We need more cricketers with spirit and work ethic like his.

    Just shows you the irony of this world, sometimes good people are not really rewarded and not even noticed.
    Last edited by MenInG; 14th September 2020 at 22:48.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    Something not right here.

    So many questions spring to mind.

    Why does this keep happening to Pakistani cricketers.

    Should this guy even be playing cricket?

    Why are these injuries being so badly managed.
    Of course James Taylor's case was much more serious - and he retired at the age of 26 but from the looks of it Rumman knew he had no option but to play probably because there is no insurance cover etc


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    from the looks of it Rumman knew he had no option but to play probably because there is no insurance cover etc
    Exactly. Also ECB supported James Taylor pretty well, involved him in the ECB set up, made him a selector so that he can transition to another career in cricket.

  9. #9
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    Hearing that he's hurt his back again and the injury appears to be a serious one.

    Not looking good for him.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    Hearing that he's hurt his back again and the injury appears to be a serious one.

    Not looking good for him.
    May the Almighty have mercy on him - this is so sad.


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    Insha'Allah he recovers. However, I hope this time round he retires from cricket as being paralysed is so much worse.

    I hope he listens to the doctors.

    Invest some money in your own business or something along those lines.

  12. #12
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    Karachi: Left-arm pacer Rumman Raees has been ruled out of the 2020-21 domestic season due to a back injury he picked up during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019 and has never fully recovered since then.

    He was included in Sindh’s first XI team in the National T20 Cup. According to sources, he has suffered severe pain in his spinal cord after the fitness Test in Karachi.

    According to reports, he has sent the message regarding his injury to Sindh’s first XI coach Basit Ali. He has also told the team management that he is looking to take an important decision regarding his career

    https://arysports.tv/rumman-raees-ru...season-injury/


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    He seems like a hardworking and intelligent fellow. Needs to focus on acquiring some coaching credentials and may be starting as an assistant with a domestic coach or the U19 setup. Could turn out to be a successful coach, you never know.

    Playing is too dangerous for him atm. You can in a way understand why he wants to continue but it's not a rational choice.
    Last edited by Third Man; 15th September 2020 at 22:40.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Karachi: Left-arm pacer Rumman Raees has been ruled out of the 2020-21 domestic season due to a back injury he picked up during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019 and has never fully recovered since then.

    He was included in Sindh’s first XI team in the National T20 Cup. According to sources, he has suffered severe pain in his spinal cord after the fitness Test in Karachi.

    According to reports, he has sent the message regarding his injury to Sindh’s first XI coach Basit Ali. He has also told the team management that he is looking to take an important decision regarding his career

    https://arysports.tv/rumman-raees-ru...season-injury/
    This is so sad. I am his Indian fan. I watched PSL only to watch his celebration. He has such a lovely smile. Why doesn't PCB protect its players. They destroyed Anwar ali too.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KhanNn View Post
    Insha'Allah he recovers. However, I hope this time round he retires from cricket as being paralysed is so much worse.

    I hope he listens to the doctors.

    Invest some money in your own business or something along those lines.
    One can understand his concerns about his livelihood.


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    He wanted to come to the UK to get the injury sorted out, as several other players have. But this was blocked - I've made some enquiries, PCB are blaming IU and IU are blaming PCB.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    He wanted to come to the UK to get the injury sorted out, as several other players have. But this was blocked - I've made some enquiries, PCB are blaming IU and IU are blaming PCB.
    What is IU?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by asadee View Post
    What is IU?
    Islamabad United


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    H should stop playing cricket. Looks like an intelligent young man , can earn his living in some other way. Even if he was fit he did not have a bright future in cricket, was a very average cricketer.

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    Rumman will need to be realistic about his career. If the medical advice is to stop playing cricket then he must consider it for the sake of his long-term health, otherwise he might aggravate his back injury even more.

    PCB need to support him, perhaps help him into coaching or other roles.


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    He wanted to come to the UK to get the injury sorted out, as several other players have. But this was blocked - I've made some enquiries, PCB are blaming IU and IU are blaming PCB.
    I am not sure if IU has the authority to block any player outside of maybe PSL duration.

    Feel bad for him, hopefully he can figure our whats best for him and can get the necessary treatment.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    PCB need to support him, perhaps help him into coaching or other roles.
    Rumman looks like a decent bloke with a good head on his shoulders. Being a recent player from the setup he will know players, improvements which can be made in the system and can be good addition to any of the regional setups or even the cricket committee.

    It should be his decision but, PCB should let him know that these options are also on table so he doesnt need to push himself considering the dangers to his health. For cricketers saying good bye to the sport when they are not old, have played for Pak and was in the setup just couple of years ago before injury is obviously pretty tough.

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    PCB have not handled these type of injuries well. I hope Wasim Khan looks into this and finds a way to change it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titan24 View Post
    Rumman looks like a decent bloke with a good head on his shoulders. Being a recent player from the setup he will know players, improvements which can be made in the system and can be good addition to any of the regional setups or even the cricket committee.

    It should be his decision but, PCB should let him know that these options are also on table so he doesnt need to push himself considering the dangers to his health. For cricketers saying good bye to the sport when they are not old, have played for Pak and was in the setup just couple of years ago before injury is obviously pretty tough.
    I never saw him at his peak. Only saw him bowl in PSL post rehab. How good was he? I was a big fan of Anwar Ali. I thought he will be next Abdul Razzaq for Pak but injuries derailed his career too. Pat Cummins was able to make a comeback. I wish Rumman best of luck for career.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Rumman will need to be realistic about his career. If the medical advice is to stop playing cricket then he must consider it for the sake of his long-term health, otherwise he might aggravate his back injury even more.

    PCB need to support him, perhaps help him into coaching or other roles.
    I agree , he can be used in coaching or in selection matters at junior level. A young coach will be a good fit for the under 19 cricketers.

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    He's still on the younger side and I believe when fully fit, he's one of the finest bowlers in T20s both with new ball & at the death. Should consider going for a surgery if he can recover fully from the injury, maybe in Eng or Aus. If it takes him year or so in complete recovery, I think he will still have a lot of cricket left in him, will be in demand in T20 leagues all over the world.

    But again if even after surgery, there are chances of him not fully recovering or no surety about whether he can play professional cricket, then he should consider retirement. Rumman is one of very few level headed players in Pakistan, I'm sure he will take the right decision. But as a fan, I would love to see him back on the field.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cric_lover4487 View Post
    I never saw him at his peak. Only saw him bowl in PSL post rehab. How good was he? I was a big fan of Anwar Ali. I thought he will be next Abdul Razzaq for Pak but injuries derailed his career too. Pat Cummins was able to make a comeback. I wish Rumman best of luck for career.
    Rumman didnt have a lot of raw talent and ingredients but in his peak he was an impressive white ball bowler. He was around 135 kph, a little bit less or more depending upon his rhythm. In his peak he used not get natural swing with the new ball and in terms of variations was one of the better ones I have seen in recent times with slower bowls, cutters and even yorkers(Before his back issues). He used to deceive some top international batsmen in PSL, Watson rated him really highly.

    Anwer Ali on the other hand had the raw talent, swing, height and reasonable pace for a young guy during his U19 days. However, never really pushed himself to become better which makes all the difference when it comes to international success and performances. Anwer Ali's bowling was stagnant, never really tried to improve that. His pace of mid 130s or early 130s which I dont mind but, he didnt use to get consistent swing, movement as well and then never really worked upon that. Improved his batting but to become an all rounder (Be the 3rd or 4th seamer of the time), you need to have enough potential in either bowling to be getting that crucial breakthrough in the middle overs or be consistent enough with bat to provide good finishes at no 7 or 8. Became a big hitter but wasnt consistent enough in both the facets of the game.

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    And now 8 years on it seems like his career might be over due to the back injury. May Allah make it easy for him.


    Ki Mohammad (saw) sey wafa tu ney tou hum terey hain
    Yeh jahaan cheez kya hai Loh-o-Qalam tere hain

  29. #29
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    Some people close to him are trying to get him to the UK for treatment.

    However to correct all the mistakes by medics in Pakistan and the mismanagement of the various injuries will not be easy.

    A recurring problem in Pakistan this.



  30. #30
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    He was an excellent and reliable T20 bowler in the powerplay and death overs.
    Quite sad to see him now. Would have been a global league star if not for all these injuries.

  31. #31
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    Inspite of so many personal problems, the guy was going out there on the front lines to help people at the peak of Covid.

    He should focus on getting involved in coaching and hopefully the PCB help him transition to post cricketing life

  32. #32
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    Someone needs to completely overhaul the PCB medical department

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by angrypathan View Post
    Someone needs to completely overhaul the PCB medical department
    Think a basic check of degrees and some tests to judge their abilities done by a third party will do the job.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titan24 View Post
    I am not sure if IU has the authority to block any player outside of maybe PSL duration.

    Feel bad for him, hopefully he can figure our whats best for him and can get the necessary treatment.
    Knowing the PCB this is probably more to do with the blame game, they probably said he took the injury while playing for IU so they are responsible for his care.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by angrypathan View Post
    Someone needs to completely overhaul the PCB medical department
    Should have been done many years ago.

    And I'm surprised this has not been something that Wasim Khan has focussed on so far.
    Last edited by Saj; 25th September 2020 at 23:26.



  36. #36
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    Rather than have an in house medical department. Why doesn't the PCB outsource this function to the top hospitals in Lahore or Karachi?


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