Junaid Khan hits back after being dropped from Pakistan's World Cup squad with cryptic tweet

Aditya Devavrat 19:40 20/05/2019
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Junaid Khan

Junaid Khan made his disappointment clear after being left out of Pakistan‘s final 15-man squad for the World Cup on Monday, despite having been named in the provisional squad last month.

The left-arm seamer had been one of the stars of Pakistan’s surprise triumph in the 2017 Champions Trophy, picking up eight wickets at an average of 19.37 and an economy rate of 4.58 in the last international tournament to be held in England, the venue of this summer’s competition.

Khan made his ODI debut right after the 2011 World Cup but missed out on selection for the 2015 edition of the tournament, meaning he was in line to make his debut in the competition this year.

Instead, he has been dropped along with fellow pacer Faheem Ashraf and opening batsman Abid Ali, with the two bowlers being replaced by Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz.

The final squad has become instantly controversial as Amir did not bowl at all in during Pakistan’s recent 4-0 series defeat against England, as the only match in which he was selected was washed out, while Riaz has not played an ODI since that Champions Trophy triumph in 2017.

Khan was selected for the third and fourth ODI of the five-match series, returning figures of 1-57 and 1-85 – the latter his last performance before the squad was announced.

And in a tweet soon after the Pakistan selectors had revealed their decision, Khan put up a picture of himself with his mouth taped shut, adding, “I don’t want to say anything. Truth is bitter.”

At 29 this may have been Khan’s best shot at appearing in a World Cup, as he will be 33 for the next edition, due to be played in India in 2023.

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