Lahore: Pakistan left-arm pacer Mohammad Khalil will join the national cricket team as a replacement for injured Junaid Khan in Bangladesh for the One-day series, kicking off with a Twenty20 next week.
Junaid, who tore a stomach muscle during the fourth One-day International, and allrounder Abdul Razzaq who sustained a shoulder injury, were both ruled out of the tour to Bangladesh and returned home from the UAE for rehabilitation and treatment. Though Khalil was called to replace Junaid, the selectors have not announced any replacement for Razzaq yet.
"Khalil has been picked primarily because he is a left-arm pacer like Junaid and he has been performing well in domestic cricket for Zarai Taraqyati Bank (ZTBL)," a selector said. Interestingly, ZTBL until last month was headed by Zaka Ashraf, who is now the Chairman of the PCB.
"In the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy division one championship, Khalil is a leading wicket-taker with 45 dismissals, so he deserved a call up," the selector insisted.
The 29-year-old Khalil, who last represented Pakistan in March 2005 in a Test match at Kolkata where he bowled 23 wicketless overs for 103 runs, was written off as one of those players who were fortunate to play for Pakistan. Stating that he has unfinished business to take care of, Khalil said that he would be taking the tour of Bangladesh seriously and would like to make an impact.
"I'm just so excited at the recall. It's been a long six years since I last played for Pakistan and I'm so pleased to be back in the international reckoning. It was in my heart to play for my country again as I felt that I have unfinished business to complete," he told the Pakpassion.net website.