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Junaid: I will not give up

  • Published at 10:29 pm January 14th, 2019
Khulna Titans' Bangladeshi opener Junaid Siddique in action during the BPL T20 Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Junaid has worked on his fitness in recent times and reaped results in the form of prolific scoring in the domestic circuit.

Khulna Titans opener Junaid Siddique aims to score big for the team, and keep focusing on performances in the BPL as he believes he still can become a part of the national team with good performances in the near future. 

Junaid first came into the T20I scene when he was picked up for the Word T20I squad in 2007. 

He made his T20I debut against Pakistan and scored 71 off 49 balls with six fours and three sixes. 

Bangladesh lost the game by four wickets but Junaid was adjudged man-of-the-match.

Later he played 19 Tests, 54 ODIs and seven T20Is for Bangladesh, but lost his place in the national team around 2012.

This year, he has again come into the limelight after Khulna selected him from the players’ draft. 

Junaid had scored plenty of runs in the recent BCL and NCL seasons, and that caught the eye of Khulna to fix their opening problem. 

Although Khulna lost four matches, their opening pair looks in good touch as Junaid and Paul Striling gave them some good starts.

At 31 years of age, the experienced opener focused on his performance and didn’t give up on his chances to return to the national team. 

The road to returning to the national team will be very difficult, but Junaid wants to keep focusing and use this opportunity to play in the BPL well.     

“I threw myself a challenge in the last three years. The challenge was to keep performing. I was waiting for an opportunity like this. This year so far I have performed well but I need to carry on and score big in the BPL as I am getting good starts out there. If I cannot manage to score big after getting starts, it will be an injustice to my team and me,” Junaid told Dhaka Tribune during practice at Sylhet District Stadium Monday.

“And about the national team, I will try until the last day of my career. I am not a person who gives up. If I can perform and score a lot of runs, then definitely selectors will think of me as an option. At one time I used to think emotionally if I was out of the national team. But now I am just focusing on my performance. I have learnt that if I work hard it can boost my performance as well.  So I am focusing on performance, rather than thinking too emotionally,” he added.

Junaid has scored 33 off 30 balls against Rangpur Riders, 31 off 16 against Dhaka Dynamites, 23 off 18 against Rajshahi Kings, and 20 off 15 against Chittagong Vikings for Khulna in BPL 6 so far. 

The southpaw got good starts in all those innings but could not manage to score big. The left-hander is working to score big for the team under coach Mahela Jayawardene.

“As an opener, my target is to properly use the powerplay overs and score fast runs for the team. So far I am happy with my individual performance. But if I had extended my innings, the team would have benefited more. As I am scoring runs, I will try to play with more responsibility and play a big innings. I will try to perform like that from the Sylhet phase. I have practised in the nets with this mindset. Also I have spoken with the coach about it. Hopefully I will carry my innings for a bit longer if I get a good start,” he said.  

Junaid has worked on his fitness in recent times and reaped results in the form of prolific scoring in the domestic circuit.

Now the BPL is the perfect stage for the experienced opener to prove that he is still capable in the shorter formats for the national fold.