Junaid Khan’s way of protest was not right, says Shahid Afridi

Junaid Khan’s way of protest was not right, says Shahid Afridi

Junaid after being excluded from the squad made sure everyone knew what he was thinking.

Junaid Khan
Junaid Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

For cricketers, seeing the dream of playing the World Cup crashing before the eyes is something too painful to accept easily. In India, batsman Ambati Rayudu was the one who could not help but mock the selectors in a subtle way after missing the bus eventually. For Pakistan, pacer Junaid Khan found himself in a similar position and he thought out a unique way to express his disappointment, by means of posting a picture showing him with his mouth black-taped! He even captioned the picture saying: “Truth is bitter”.

The supporters didn’t lose the opportunity to make fun of the protests made by Rayudu and Junaid and said the ICC could organise an opening ceremony whereby a sealed-mouth Junaid would bowl to Rayudu wearing his “3D goggles” on. The “3D” became relevant after the Indian chief selector said Vijay Shankar, who had replaced Rayudu, a “three-dimensional” cricketer for his all-round ability. However, as far as Junaid is concerned, not all were happy with his reaction in Pakistan, including their former captain Shahid Afridi.

I would have done the same thing

Interacting with the media, the former Pakistan cricketer opined that the way Junaid, 29, chose to protest his exclusion from the final World Cup squad was not right. He said a lot can be done even by staying silent and being a centrally contracted player, it was unnecessary for the cricketer to indulge in such a protest. Afridi also said jokingly that had he been in his place, he would also have done the same but advised Junaid that it was not the right way.

“He hasn’t played that much cricket. He has just started and has to go further ahead. It was not necessary for him to do this at this stage,” Afridi said, though conceding that frustration for not making it even coming so close was expected.

It may be mentioned here that Junaid, who has taken 110 wickets in 76 matches, came very close to playing in the World Cup in 2011 and 2015 but eventually couldn’t. In 2011, he did not get a game despite being in the squad while in 2015, he lost out because of injury just ahead of the tournament. This year, he was in the preliminary squad of 15 but a couple of ordinary performances against England in the recent series saw him getting replaced by the more experienced Wahab Riaz.