Former Pakistan chief selector Muhammad Wasim alleged that all-rounder Imad Wasim, who recently reversed his international retirement and has been picked for the T20 World Cup, has been concealing a long-standing knee injury, disguising it as a rib issue.

Retirement U-turn

Imad announced his retirement from international cricket in November 2023 but made a U-turn this March after a brilliant season in the Pakistan Super League. He was picked for Pakistan’s home T20I series against New Zealand a month later and made the team for the T20 World Cup, being held in the West Indies and the USA.

Rib injury rules Imad out of first T20 WC fixture

The all-rounder missed Pakistan’s final T20I against England due to “precautionary reasons” with a suspected rib injury, which also forced him to skip the side’s first match in the World Cup against the USA. In a statement, the PCB termed his injury as a “discomfort in his right rib cage”. He was passed fit a day before the India-Pakistan clash, with coach Gary Kirsten confirming the news. 

Imad bowled three overs against the neighbours on Sunday, conceding 17 runs but his innings with the bat (15 in 23) swayed the momentum back towards India, who ended up winning by six runs.

Former chief selector accuses Imad of hiding knee injury

Following the game, Wasim, the national selector of Pakistan from 2020 to December 2022, claimed that Imad was hiding a knee injury, something he has previously struggled with.

The knee injury kept Imad out of Pakistan’s ODI tour of New Zealand in 2017 and since then he has needed to treat it frequently. He was also given additional time to pass the fitness test ahead of the 2019 World Cup due to his chronic knee, which also inhibited his ability to play Test cricket. 

Speaking on Samaa TV, he said: “A lot of revelations will come out. They won't stay hidden. If you're claiming a rib injury, and it's actually a knee injury... It's a long-standing injury that you can see while running between the wickets, while bowling, and while fielding.”

He also tore into the administrators in PCB for compromising on the fitness and quality of players, which will affect the dynamics in the team.

“When you'll compromise on things, be it fitness or quality, just for the sake of experience...those who prefer the financial side of the game over their country, you keep bringing them back. What kind of an environment will the team have?

“Everyone's talking how the team had unity two years back – there was unity, and there were results. Some characters weren't there, you've brought back in those characters. The team's result is in front of you, and the team environment too".

Imad has a strained relationship with skipper Babar Azam and has often criticised his captaincy, even calling for his resignation after the 2023 ODI World Cup.