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Pakistan's Junaid confident about Champions Trophy

AFP
Apr 25, 2013 at 04:14pm IST

Lahore: Fast-rising Pakistan paceman Junaid Khan said on Thursday he was confident that a county stint with Lancashire would help him perform in the June Champions Trophy in England.

The 23-year-old left-armer will spearhead Pakistan's attack in the absence of injured Umar Gul in the eight-nation event to be held June 6-23. Khan said his 2011 Lancashire stint introduced him to the conditions in England.

"I played for Lancashire and learnt about the conditions in England which are helpful for swing bowling, so that will surely come good when I play in the Champions Trophy," Khan told reporters at a tune-up camp for Pakistan pacemen.

Pakistan's Junaid confident about Champions Trophy

The 23-year-old left-armer will spearhead Pakistan's attack in the absence of injured Umar Gul in the eight-nation event.

Legendary Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram is supervising the 10-day Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) camp for 23 bowlers, some of whom currently play for Pakistan. Khan said tips from Wasim, who introduced him to Lancashire, are a great help.

"Learning is a never-ending process and in this camp Wasim told me how to improve my in-swingers and yorkers which are considered as the two best weapons for the left-arm bowler, so I am learning fast," said Khan.

Khan, who rose after playing first-class cricket in 2007 in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad, said he was also developing aggression under Wasim.

"Wasim told us how to show aggression towards a batsman and I am developing that. I was the most aggressive bowler on the tour to India and then South Africa," said Khan of Pakistan's last two tours. He said tune-up camps are good for burgeoning talent.

"It is a very good initiative from the PCB and chairman Zaka Ashraf has shown interest in helping fast bowlers because Pakistan has always been known for its quality pace bowlers," said Khan. Wasim praised Khan's talent.

"He has the capacity to spearhead Pakistan's attack and after noticing his talent I recommended his name to Lancashire," said Wasim of the county he played for in the 1980s and 90s.

"As a young boy he did well for Lancashire and his ability to learn will help him in the Champions Trophy," said Wasim. Pakistan will play two one-day internationals each against Ireland and Scotland in May before competing in the Champions Trophy.

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