Rashid Khan withdraws from PSL 2024


Rashid Khan’s much-awaited return to competitive cricket has been delayed further after the talismanic Afghanistan all-rounder withdrew from the upcoming edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which begins on February 17.

Rashid’s last international appearance came on November 10, 2023, in an ODI World Cup fixture against South Africa. He underwent surgery on his lower back in the UK after completing the marquee event and has been out of competitive cricket since then.

Rashid traveled to India with the Afghanistan team for their three-match T20I series, however, he was not fit enough to take the field and spent the entire series on the sidelines. The 25-year-old has been with the Lahore Qalandars for the last three seasons and has won the title in 2022 and 2023. However, he won’t represent the team as he continues his rehabilitation.

The leg-spinner was retained by the franchise in the ‘silver’ salary bracket ahead of December’s draft, on the understanding that he was unlikely to be available for the impending edition but could then be retained for future seasons. Now that Rashid’s unavailability is confirmed, the Qalandars will be able to rope in a replacement player in the supplementary and replacement draft, which the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed will be held virtually on Monday, January 29.

We have to make sure he is 100% ready: Jonathan Trott

PSL 2024 is not the only franchise tournament Rashid has decided to skip after going under the knife. He had previously withdrawn from the Big Bash League and also the SA20. Afghanistan head coach Jonathan Trott said it is important not to rush Rashid’s comeback.

“It is a case of us making sure that we are really careful with his back. He is such an influential player: we have to make sure he is 100% ready and not rush him back from that type of surgery… when he is ready, he will be the first one to get on the field. He has got a few more appointments and check-ups to make sure everything is OK, so there is no real time-frame. I hope it is sooner rather than later, but there is no pressure and no rush,” Trott was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

According to ESPNcricinfo, Rashid is expected to be fit in time for the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, there is also a possibility of him recovering earlier. If this happens, he could feature in Afghanistan’s multi-format series against Ireland in the UAE, which runs from February 28 until March 18.