ICC saliva ban to affect Pak pacers more: Junaid Khan

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ICC saliva ban to affect Pak pacers more: Junaid Khan

ISLAMABAD-Left-arm pacer Junaid Khan believes the decision of the International Cricket Council (ICC) to ban the usage of saliva to shine cricket balls, would affect the Pakistani fast-bowlers more, as they rely on reverse swing with the old ball to take wickets.

ICC has temporarily banned the fast-bowlers from applying saliva to shine the ball, which help them generate greater swing in the air. The ban would be implemented from the forthcoming three-match Test series between England and West Indies in the United Kingdom.

Junaid said that all fast-bowlers would generally take a hit from the ban but it will affect the Pakistani bowlers more, as they rely on reverse swing with the old (used) ball to take wickets.

“Both sides will have difficulty if there is no reverse swing on offer due to the saliva ban. However, our bowlers are likely to struggle more. Anderson bowls well with the new ball and his reverse swing is not that good. Similarly, Broad and Archer’s reverse swing is not as effective as our bowlers,” cricketpakistan.com.pk quoted Junaid as saying.

“Even though Abbas bowls at 125 kph, he has done well with reverse swing in Asia. Shaheen’s reverse swing may not be as good as Abbas, but it is still alright. The four Test matches that Naseem has played, he has taken most wickets with reverse swing. Our pacers, particularly the likes of Shaheen, Naseem and Musa will have a difficult time as they do not have the experience of playing in England and are not used to the conditions there,” he added.

The 30-year-old was disappointed to miss out on the opportunity to represent Pakistan in the aforementioned series despite having considerable experience in England.

“I was disappointed when my name wasn’t in the 29-member squad announced for England tour. I am more experienced than the bowlers selected for the tour and want to play Test cricket,” he said.

“Apart from Abbas, no other bowler in the current Test squad has a better bowling strike rate or average than me. I have played County cricket for six years, have toured England with the Under-19 team and my performances in Champions Trophy were also outstanding. As far as Twenty20 cricket is concerned, I have the most wickets as an overseas bowler for Lancashire after James Faulkner.”

Junaid also rued the lack of consistent chances and support he got from the Pakistan team management as compared to his fellow left-arm pacer, Mohammad Amir.

“I am not jealous of Amir. It is his luck that he got support from the team management despite not performing in 14 or 15 ODIs. Whereas I did not have the same luck, as I was dropped after not performing in only two games,” he said.

Junaid made his international debut in all three formats in 2011. The left-arm pacer has represented Pakistan in 22 Tests, 76 ODIs and nine T20s.