Senior Pakistan pacer Wahab Riaz confirmed that he has agreed to play Test cricket again “if required” after a communication with PCB.
Pakistan pacer Wahab Riaz (Reuters Image)
- The good thing was PCB communicated with me to play Test cricket: Wahab Riaz
- I want to set an example as a senior player: Wahab Riaz
- Colour of ball doesn’t matter when playing for Pakistan: Wahab Riaz
Pakistan speedster Wahab Riaz has confirmed his return to Test cricket and said that if required he would don the whites for Pakistan in the upcoming series against England. Wahab Riaz added that he took the decision after a communication with PCB in which he was requested to play in the longest format if the need arrives in the August tour.
Wahab Riaz had decided in September last year to take an indefinite break from Test Cricket to concentrate on the longest format. The 34-year-old pacer last played a Test match in October 2018.
Wahab Riaz, who has represented Pakistan in 27 Tests asserted that the colour of the ball doesn’t matter for him when it comes to representing Pakistan. The Lahore-born said that he wants to set an example as a senior in the team.
“I took the decision to not play Test cricket before this management was announced. Right now we are going to UK (England) and the circumstances due to Covid-19 are very unusual and we can travel with limited players as we have to go there and quarantine ourselves before the start of the series.
“So, there are no replacements at all. The good thing was PCB communicated with me to play Test cricket if required and to play for Pakistan is always a priority and so I said yes without thinking. We know that playing in England is not easy but I am not seeing the easiest part. I was being part of white-ball cricket but getting an opportunity to play for Pakistan in red-ball cricket is also a challenge for me which I have to accept and I accepted it. As a senior player, I want to set an example.
“It has to be for Pakistan and not for yourself and the colour of the ball does not matter. This is the reason why I took this decision and I am ready to play Test cricket if required. The priority was not different last year because of was not playing Test cricket regularly in last 3-4 years, before this management arrived. The priority was to focus on white-ball cricket. But as I said I agreed because there was a communication between PCB and me,” Wahab Riaz told ESPNcricinfo.
Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir’s decision to stay away from Test cricket wasn’t taken in a good stride in the Pakistan cricket fraternity. Senior team’s bowling coach Waqar Younis had went on record to say that the duo betrayed them.
“We took 2-3 youngsters to Australia, not just 1. The main reason for that was Amir & Wahab gave us a dhoka at the last minute & decided they wouldn’t play Tests 15-20 days before the start of the tour,” Waqar Younis had said in April.
Pakistan, last week announced a 29-member extended squad for the 3-match Test and T20I series in August.