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Junaid Khan breaks silence over World Cup snub

The left arm pacer was dropped after Pakistan’s miserable performance against England

PHOTO: Twitter

Pakistan’s fast-bowler Junaid Khan, in an interview with The Nation, broke silence about his exit from the 2019 World Cup squad.

Junaid was included in the provisional squad for the mega event but was dropped after Pakistan’s miserable performance against England, just before the World Cup. Khan posted a picture of himself on Twitter, which was later removed, in which his mouth was taped as a symbol of protest against his exclusion. The picture contained a caption that said ‘I don’t want to say anything. The truth is bitter.’

The 29-year-old revealed that he was disappointed at the decision but did not want to bring disrepute to the country.

“When I was highly frustrated with the treatment rendered to me by the team management, I posted a picture of mine on social media, as a token of soft protest. I was highly let down and was in huge pain, but no one from the PCB contacted me,” Junaid said. “A number of my fans and followers contacted me and convinced me to remove the post as it will bring bad name to the country, so I removed it. Obviously, as a Pakistani and a cricketer, I will never do something, which is against my country.”

The fast-bowler was, however, optimistic about his future after the recent changes in the management of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)

“With the arrival of MD Wasim Khan and new management, I am hopeful of getting justice and opportunity to represent Pakistan again. I had countless offers in England to play full-time league cricket, but I always put Pakistan way ahead of my personal ambitions,” he said. “As a Pakhtoon, I reacted somewhat not in suitable way and I do agree with that, but if one puts himself in my place, he will understand the problem I had been facing.”

Khan believed his skills would prove beneficial for Pakistan in bowler friendly conditions such as Australia and England.

“I have taken a lot of crucial wickets for Pakistan team and helped it win countless matches. I always given my 100 percent and people must understand that I have played majority of my cricket on UAE, Bangladesh and Sri Lankan slow tracks; even then my performances are no secret,” he said. “If I had played on bouncy tracks of Australia, South Africa or England, I could have taken loads more wickets.”

Junaid also claimed that he could fill the void left by pacers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz,  who had shouldered the burden of the bowling attack for Pakistan.

 “I always believe in hard work and I want to play cricket for Pakistan. I know I can shoulder the burden and can fill the huge gap left by Aamir and Wahab, while everybody knows, Pakistan team is badly missing a wicket-taking bowler up front, who may bamboozle any given batting order. I can assure the PCB that I am the one, who can resolve all problems and can provide wickets at the top. If provided with chances, I will never let down the team and the country,” he concluded.