Fast bowler Junaid Khan has been called for the One Day International (ODI) series against Australia as a replacement for Muhammad Irfan who is returning home following the death of his mother, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials told media persons on Monday.
Irfan who is set to leave the ODI squad in Australia has not played for Pakistan since September 2016, when his leg was injured. Since then, he has worked on his fitness and put up a good performance in the four-day domestic matches bowling more than 150 overs representing Wapda.
According to the chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, Irfan was picked keeping in mind playing conditions in Australia where the seven-foot paceman can generate an extra bounce.
Junaid Khan’s fitness caught the eye of selectors after his performance in domestic cricket and the Bangladesh Premier League, where he finished as the second top bowler of the tournament. On Sunday, Khan took four wickets in a domestic one-day match leading the Peshawar side to victory against the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
Junaid Khan last played an ODI for Pakistan in May 2015 against Zimbabwe, since then he has been out of favour following his injury.
The 27 year old bowler has expressed delight at his return to Pakistan team and has also requested the fans to pray for him.
“Alhamdulillah my hard work has paid off, overwhelmed for being selected. Pray for my safe journey and good performance,” Junaid wrote on his twitter account.
Junaid has represented Pakistan in 22 Tests, 52 ODIs and 9 T20Is with a collective tally of 158 wickets in international Cricket.
The five-match ODI series between Pakistan and Australia will commence from January 13th.—APP