County news April 21, 2012

Junaid available for Lancashire T20s

Junaid Khan, the Pakistan left-arm fast bowler, has received a no-objection certificate from the PCB, paving the way for his return to Lancashire for this season's Friends Life t20.

The decision was delayed as PCB wanted to ensure that the seamer had fully recovered from his patella (knee cap) injury. The PCB has released the bowler just for the Twenty20 tournament, to manage his workload and make sure he remains in the best shape for Pakistan's forthcoming tours. He was cleared after appearing in a two-day fitness test and will be applying for his UK visa next week.

Junaid sustained a fracture of the patella during the Twenty20-leg of Pakistan's series against England in UAE in February and has been out of action since then. Junaid, 22, debuted for Pakistan in April 2011 but his fledgling career has been hurt by injuries in the last few months. Junaid was selected for the England series after he had recovered from the abdominal tear he picked during the ODI series against Sri Lanka last year, which ruled him out for six weeks.

Pakistan's next international assignment is a full series in Sri Lanka followed by the 'home' series against Australia, also to be played in Sri Lanka, before the ICC World Twenty20.

Apart from his promising international career, Junaid excelled on county debut in last year's Friends Life t20, taking 12 wickets in eight games for Lancashire at an economy-rate of 6.00.

Recruited last season on the recommendation of Wasim Akram, Junaid made a big impact on the FLt20 and helped Lancashire reach finals for the first time in four years, only to miss the climax of the competition after being selected for Pakistan's tour of Zimbabwe.

"Junaid showed last season his ability to win a game from almost any situation," Peter Moores, the Lancashire head coach, said. "His strength at bowling in Powerplays and at the end of the innings in one-day cricket adds another dimension to the squad and it will be great to have him back."

Edited by Devashish Fuloria

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent