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Thursday, June 9, 2011

'Delighted at joining Wasim's former county'

Itching for county experience, Junaid Khan hasalready started the countdown to his stint with Lancashire as he awaits his UK visa.
Lancashire recently signed 21-year old Junaid for their Friends Life Twenty20 campaign after the fast-bowler’s impressive performance in Pakistan’s recent sweep against Ireland in the two-match One-Day International (ODI) series. The county was previously led by Pakistan great Wasim Akram and Junaid is looking forward to playing for the same team.
In his heyday, Akram spent 11 seasons with the side and now young- blood Junaid is counting much on his county appearance in a bid to follow the footsteps of the legendary fast bowler.
“I’m extremely delighted at joining Lancashire,” Junaid told The Express Tribune. “It’s a great honour for me to play for the same side that the great Akram has also played with.
“I always wanted to emulate Akram and my contract is a huge boost to my career,” said Junaid.
“I’m only awaiting the UK visa and will not waste a single day to join the side.”
Valuable experience
Still in the initial stages of his international career, Junaid hopes that county exposure will help polish his skills.
“Nearly all great cricketers have played county cricket and I’m also hoping to get valuable experience.
“It’s the start of my career and I aim to work on my weaknesses during the county exposure,” said Junaid who has played seven ODIs for Pakistan.
Oozing with confidence
Meanwhile, the left-arm pacer said he was confident of doing well due to favourable conditions for seamers.
“The English conditions favour fast-bowlers and keeping that in mind, hopefully I’ll be able to give my best.
“My strength is seam bowling. There’s all for a bowler like me in English conditions. This is what happened against Ireland as well – where conditions suited me and I performed well.”
Junaid, however, remains concerned about his show at dead pitches like the one he faced in the West Indies where he struggled in both the ODI and Test series.
“I faced problems in the West Indies where there was a little or no support for seamers. I’m working hard and trying to be productive on such tracks,” he said while lauding former bowler and assistant coach Aaqib Javed for his assistance.
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