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Pakistan gun fast bowler Wahab Riaz has decided to take an unknown break from the Test format. Riaz has taken the decision to focus more on the limited-overs format. The southpaw was part of Pakistan’s World Cup team. Pakistan could not reach the semifinal stage as they finished at the fifth place with five wins in eight matches. The left-arm had scalped 11 wickets in the eight matches he played for the national side.
Meanwhile, Wahab Riaz has decided to follow the footsteps of his teammate Mohammad Amir. Amir had surprisingly called it a day from the red-ball version to focus his energy on the white-ball formats. In fact, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar had predicted that Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali will follow Amir’s footsteps.
Wahab Riaz said as quoted to pcb.com.pk, “After reviewing my past couple of years’ performances in red-ball cricket and the upcoming limited-overs cricket, I have decided to take time off from first-class cricket.
“During this period, I will like to focus on 50-over and 20-over cricket and continue to access my fitness for the longer version of the game. At a stage I feel I cannot only return but also perform with the red-ball, I would make myself available.
“The PCB had been trying to convince me to pursue my career with red-ball, but today I met them to convey my decision. I am grateful for their understanding and support.”
Pakistan will next play three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka and as many T20I matches. Sri Lanka will tour Pakistan but the main players have decided to back out from the tour.
Men in Green will now be coached by former skipper Misbah ul-Haq who is also the chief selector of the team. The former right-hander had taken Pakistan to number one ranking in Test cricket under his leadership and he would like to repeat the same as a coach.
Wahab Riaz has scalped 83 wickets in 27 Test matches at an average of 34.51. The left-arm bowler has a best of 5-63 in the pristine form of the game. Riaz has bagged 113 wickets in 87 One Day Internationals at an average of 34.54 and he would like to bring his best against Sri Lanka in the limited-overs series.
Riaz is well known for his famous spell against Shane Watson in the 2015 World Cup. The gun pacer had breathed down the neck of the Australian all-rounder with short stuff.