Pakistan may be on a high right now after gaining an unassailable 2-0 series lead against the West Indies in a format that the latter are known to dominate. However, their thrilling victory in the second match in Trinidad, sweet as it was, was nearly marred by an ugly on-field collision involving Ahmed Shehzad and Chadwick Walton.
The incident, which would have sent shivers down the spines of whoever was watching, Pakistani or not, occurred on the final ball of the fourth over that was bowled by Sohail Tanvir. Veteran all-rounder Marlon Samuels, batting on 4, set off for a quick single after playing the Tanvir delivery towards short cover. Shehzad, running in from point, ran towards the ball, picked it up and aimed for the striker's stumps. The problem was he got in the way of Walton, who came steaming in from the other end, and rammed his knees against Shehzad's neck.
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While Walton got up after the collision, Shehzad lay writhing in pain on the pitch for some time, with an ambulance being called to the ground not long after. The sight of Shehzad being stretchered to an ambulance with a brace around his neck is one that would have left many in the venue, as well as those watching on their TV sets, in a state of shock.
According to ESPNCricinfo, Shehzad was then sent to a local hospital, where he was checked for possible concussions among other things.
"Initially (Shehzad) showed concussion signs and pain within the neck. Has thus been removed from play and sent to hospital for further investigations," Pakistan team physiotherapist Shane Hayes was quoted as saying in the middle of the West Indian innings.
Fortunately for him as well as for the Pakistan team, he was cleared by the doctors of any serious injury, and was even able to return to the field towards the end of the West Indies innings, as per a Daily Mail report.
The West Indies innings had witnessed a couple of collisions earlier, including one where Evin Lewis rammed into 'Man of the Match' Shadab Khan while getting run-out for three in the second over of the innings. Just five deliveries before the Shehzad collision, Walton had rammed into Tanvir.
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PCB chief Wasim Khan then clarified that it's only fair that there is a time-frame for such a deadline, which they've set for January 2021.
Pakistan will also play three T20 internationals during the tour, which was earlier scheduled to be held in September/October this year but had to be deferred due to the rising COVID-19 cases in South Africa.
After the CSA's entire board resigned on Monday, acting chief executive Kugandrie Govender said the matches against Sri Lanka, like those for the upcoming white-ball series against England, would be played without spectators because of Covid-19 restrictions.