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Shadab Khan accepts Umar Gul apology for World Cup concussion scepticism

Shadab Khan, Umar Gul
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Shadab Khan has accepted Umar Gul‘s apology for doubting the authenticity of the concussion he suffered from during the 2023 World Cup

Pakistan vice-captain Shadab Khan was hit on the head while fielding during their match against South Africa in the 2023 World Cup at Chennai. He left the field, and Pakistan eventually used Usama Mir as a concussion substitute.

Chasing 271, South Africa were 260-9 before Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi saw them home. Mir finished with 2-45, including the wickets of Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen.

Former Pakistan fast bowler Umar Gul was skeptic about the injury. “We don’t know what kind of injury he has sustained, but questions arise when you fall, claim to have a concussion, escape from the team, and go outside. The physio checks you, and then after a while, you come out. There, you chat with people and then leave,” he had told a local television channel.

“When the match gets tight, and you realise it is going in our favour, you sit outside in the dugout, cheering. It means you’ve made an excuse; you’ve saved yourself. So people will definitely question it.”

In an interview with Cricket Pakistan, however, Gul admitted to having recently apologised to Shadab: “After the PSL, I approached him immediately because the real story was that he had suffered from concussion twice in a year, and the third time it occurred during the World Cup. The doctor advised rest to prevent any serious consequences. When I found out about it and when I met him for the first time in the training camp, I went straight to him and apologised.

“I said, ‘Shadab, it was never my intention to hurt you, and obviously being a Pakistani, I felt at that time that the team needed you.’ For the team’s requirement I said this [the previous comment]. Otherwise Shadab is a great guy and we have good relations, our families have good relations too, but obviously I felt by the statement I had given, and I apologised to Shadab for it.”

Shadab accepted Gul’s apology, and stated the same in a social media post, mentioning “it takes a brave man to accept his mistake”.

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