Pakistan’s left-arm pacer Junaid Khan bowled his fans over with the news of his engagement and nikkah with 17-year-old Khansa Khan, which took place in England on June 18. After earning his spurs on the cricket pitch, Junaid is all set to venture out towards a whole new ball game – marriage.
“The wedding will take place after two years,” Junaid tells The Express Tribune. Belonging to a family that hails from Junaid’s hometown Swabi, Khansa, Junaid senses, is his good luck charm. “I can feel that Khansa will be very lucky for me because when both of our families were in talks, I received an ‘A’ category contract at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB),” he says. Adding, “This is a new chapter in my life and I’m hoping it will prove to be really good for me.”
Junaid shares he wanted to focus on cricket, but agreed to get married on his parents’ insistence as they thought it was time for him to take up this responsibility. Khansa is the daughter of Junaid’s father’s business partner in England, living with her family in Yorkshire. Junaid is hopeful that the new relationship will bear fruit and a stepping stone in both his personal and public life.
Credited with being one of the consistent performers in the Pakistani cricket team, he made his international debut 2011. The celebrity athlete has represented Pakistan in 16 Tests, 46 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and nine T20 Internationals (T20Is).
He is currently playing T20 cricket in England for Lancashire, where he has proven his mettle by taking 11 wickets in six matches. “I’m thankful to the PCB for allowing me to play in England at a time when a month-long training camp is taking place in Lahore,” states Junaid.
Of his Lancashire T20 cricket experience, says, “The [experience] has been of great help to me as it has boosted my confidence. I wanted to get some tough match practise before our upcoming matches and feel that I’m ready to take on Sri Lankans [during the Pakistan versus Sri Lanka series] in August.” He further comments, “I have developed a sense of maturity and feel that I can go onto spearhead our bowling attack in all formats.”
The fast bowler had been a regular fixture in test and one-day matches, but found it hard to break into the fast-paced T20 side and has often been rested in the shortest format of the game. However, his performance in the ongoing T20 matches could serve as food for thought for the team management and selectors.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2014.
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