Wahab Riaz Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

Wahab Riaz

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
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Pakistan Squad, Schedule, Date, Time, And Venue For ICC T20 World Cup 2021

Pakistan will kickstart their ICC T20I World Cup 2021 campaign against arch-rivals India in Dubai on 24 October.  They will then face New Zealand in Sharjah on 26 October before returning to Dubai to take on Afghanistan. Their last two matches in the Super 12 stages will see them face runners-up of Group A and table-toppers of Group B from Round 1 in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah respectively.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021 will start from 17th October immediately after the conclusion of IPL’s UAE leg. The marquee tournament is scheduled to begin on 17 October and the summit clash will take place on 14 November. Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board has named the balanced 15-member squad which will be competing in the marquee T20 World Cup tournament.

Pakistan cricketers
Pakistan cricketers (Image Credit: Twitter)

Pakistan’s Negatives In Squad Of ICC T20 World Cup 2021

Pakistan chose youth over experience for the backup wicketkeeper spot with the inclusion of Azam Khan over Sarfaraz Ahmed. Azam Khan has featured in only three T20Is in his career and has aggregated only six runs in two innings but his exploits in domestic T20 competitions have helped him seal a berth in the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 squad.

Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters
Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters

Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah were among the surprise inclusions in the squad for the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 World Cup, having last played a T20I for Pakistan earlier this year against Zimbabwe and South Africa respectively.

Pakistan named a 15-member squad and 3 stand-by players for their campaign in the UAE on Monday. Senior members keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz did not find a place while the likes of fresh faces Azam Khan, Asif Ali, and Khushdil Shah made it to the squad.

There are a few surprises in the squad as veteran players like Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed, who captained Pakistan in 2007 and 2016 T20 WCs respectively, did not get a chance in the squad. Aggressive opener Fakhar Zaman and leg-spinner Usman Qadir were not picked in the 15-man squad but the two players along with Shahnawaz Dahani were picked as reserves.

Pakistan’s Positives In Squad Of ICC T20 World Cup 2021

The two biggest positives for Pakistan are the red hot form of wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan and captain Babar Azam. Notably, Babar Azam is placed in the number 2 spot in ICC T20I batsman rankings also Mohammad Rizwan is at 7th place. Mohammad Rizwan is in form of his life in T20I format, He is having an average of 94.00 in the 17 games he has played in 2021 and has already smashed 752 runs.

On the bowling side of things, youngster Shaheen Afridi will be the biggest factor. Notably, Pakistan has won 4 out of the last 5 T20I series they have played.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

So far Pakistan has won one T20 World Cup trophy back in 2009 by defeating Sri Lanka by 8 wickets at the Home of cricket Lord’s Cricket Ground, London. They will have an eye on winning the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Pakistan Squad For ICC T20 World Cup 2021

Babar Azam (C), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Azam Khan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim,Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Traveling reserves – Fakhar Zaman , Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir

Pakistan’s Complete Schedule Against The Following Teams:-

October 24: India 7:30 pm Dubai

October 26: New Zealand 7:30 pm Sharjah

October 29: Afghanistan  – 7:30 pm Dubai

November 2: Runner Up of Group A (A2) – 7:30 pm Abu Dhabi

November 7: Winner of Group B (B1) – 7:30 pm Sharjah

Sourav Ganguly reveals T20 world Cup trophy | Image Credit: Twitter
Sourav Ganguly reveals T20 world Cup trophy | Image Credit: Twitter
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ICC T20I World Cup 2021: 4 Teams Which Won’t Be Able To Qualify For The Semi-Final

ICC T20I World Cup 2021 is just a month away from taking place after a gap of five years and the excitement for the tournament in UAE is at its’ peak already. The previous edition took place in 2016 when West Indies emerged as the champions and this will be a 12 team affair this time around for the group stages.

The top eight teams from the T20 international rankings qualified automatically for the league stages of the T20 Worldcup while the remaining four teams will have to make it through the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 qualifiers. Surprisingly, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh haven’t been able to make it to the league stages and are placed in the qualifiers. Here are 4 teams that won’t be able to qualify for the semi-finals of ICC T20I World Cup 2021.

Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

ICC T20I World Cup 2021: 4 Teams Which Probably Won’t Be Able To Qualify For The Semi-Final

Australia:

Australia Pic: Getty
Australia Pic: Getty

Australia is one of the powerhouses in world cricket at present for a long time now and they still continue to dominate best teams but haven’t been doing it on a consistent basis. But recent losses to West Indies and Bangladesh with a depleted squad saw their reputation diminish.

When it comes to T20 cricket, Australia hasn’t always been the team to watch out for as they do have a lot of stars in their lineup but despite that, they have lacked the T20 flavour. 2010 was the only year they reached the finals of the ICC T20I World Cup and they lost to England.

Australia’s recent form in T20I hasn’t been impressive either as they lost the T20I series in West Indies 4-1 and lost a bilateral series for the first time against Bangladesh which wasn’t the ideal preparation they needed. Australia has been placed in a strong group comprising of England, West Indies, and South Africa and their chances of making it to the semifinals look bleak at the moment.

Australia has lost the last 5 T20I series they have played against New Zealand, India, England, West Indies, and Bangladesh. With the return of big names like David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, and Pat Cummins the Aaron Finch-led side will be looking forward to gaining back the momentum.

South Africa:

South Africa ( Photo Credit: Twitter )
South Africa ( Photo Credit: Twitter )

South Africa has lacked the edge needed in the knockouts to progress to the finals of the tournament and it has been evident through their results so far in ICC events. They haven’t made it to a final in ICC T20 World Cup yet and have been succumbing down when it comes to pressure games for which they are labelled chokers.

The Proteas are a different looking side now without AB De Villiers and Faf du Plessis, and their new skipper Temba Bavuma will have a huge responsibility under his belt for the T20I World Cup. Their bowling attack does look good but they are expected to struggle with their inexperienced batting lineup and are unlikely to progress to the semi-finals after being placed in a tough group.

They are currently placed on the 5th spot in ICC T20 Internationals rankings. Also in the last 5 T20 international series, they have lost 3 series. They have some exceptionally talented players like Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassi Van Der Dussen, and David Miller on the team but have left out experienced Chris Morris, Faf du Plessis, and Imran Tahir.

Afghanistan :

Afghanistan
Afghanistan

Afghanistan has been one of the teams that have come from far behind in terms of development and the results are there to see as well. They have produced a lot of young match winners already and the best example is Rashid Khan who has been the best spinner in the world in the last two years globally.

Afghanistan has picked up a good squad for the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 but they have a lot of issues going on with the Taliban government and it will certainly take a toll on their performance. They have gone in for experience in the fast bowling department and Rashid Khan has stepped out as the captain of the side as well for the ICC T20I World Cup 2021. With India and New Zealand in the group, Afghanistan might not be able to progress to the semi-finals.

Currently, Afghanistan is placed on the 7th spot in the ICC T20 international rankings. Once the team enters the tournament all eyes will be on big names like Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi. ACB named Rashid Khan as their captain for the T20 world cup 2021. Rashid Khan soon came up with a tweet stating that he will be leaving the captaincy. Post that, ACB announced that Mohammad Nabi will be the captain of the team.

Pakistan:

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

Pakistan is looking like a better group in the last few international series and with the change in the coaching staff and the Director, a lot could change for the Pakistan side ahead of the ICC T20I World Cup 2021.

However, their recent performances haven’t been up to the mark especially in England and they still have holes to fill inside the group. Lead by captain Babar Azam, Pakistan will kickstart their ICC T20I World Cup 2021 campaign against arch-rivals India in Dubai on 24 October.

They will then face New Zealand in Sharjah on 26 October before returning to Dubai to take on Afghanistan. Their last two matches in the Super 12 stages will see them face runners-up of Group A and table-toppers of Group B from Round 1 in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah respectively.

Their middle order needed some solid experience and they have gone in for youngsters who had failed earlier. Their fast bowling and spin department don’t look bad either but they still do not like getting past New Zealand and India who have strong depth in their squads for the ICC T20I World Cup 2021.

Pakistan chose youth over experience for the backup wicketkeeper spot with the inclusion of Azam Khan over Sarfaraz Ahmed. Azam Khan has featured in only three T20Is in his career and has aggregated only six runs in two innings but his exploits in domestic T20 competitions has helped him seal a berth in the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 squad.

Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah were among the surprise inclusions in the squad for the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 World Cup, having last played a T20I for Pakistan earlier this year against Zimbabwe and South Africa respectively.

They did not find a place in the squad for the tours of England and the West Indies. The experienced campaigners Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, and Sarfaraz Ahmed surprisingly didn’t find a place in ICC T20I World Cup 2021 squad.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)
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Wasim Khan Issues Statement Denying Any Rifts Between Babar Azam And PCB

Wasim Khan, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO issued an official statement in which he denied any rifts between team skipper Babar Azam and the Board over the selection of the squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2021. PCB announced a 15-man squad for the forthcoming ICC event a few days ago. Some reports alleged that Pakistan skipper Babar Azam is unhappy with the team selection.

The reports had also alleged that Babar Azam was not taken into confidence as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee picked the team for T20 World Cup. According to reports, Babar Azam wanted to pick openers Sharjeel Khan and Fakhar Zaman, all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and leg-spinner Usman Qadir in the squad but in-line PCB chairman Ramiz Raja did not agree.

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)

Wasim Khan:  Babar Azam Is Fully Behind The Decision Of Picking Squad For T20I World Cup

However, PCB CEO Wasim Khan has ruled out any dispute between Babar Azam and the board over the selection of the squad for T20 World Cup 2021. Wasim Khan mentioned that Babar Azam is fully behind the decision of picking the squad for the T20I World Cup 2021.

“It has come to our notice that factually incorrect reports are circulating about the Pakistan national squad environment. The squad for the upcoming international assignments has been announced and our captain Babar Azam is fully behind the direction that is being taken”, the statement issued by Wasim Khan said.

Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“On Tuesday afternoon, some of the players had a healthy and positive meeting with former Pakistan captain and member of the PCB Board of Governors, Mr Ramiz Raja, in which there was a consensus on the brand of cricket that needs to be played in the upcoming series and beyond.

“It is important that collectively we get firmly behind the squad so that they have the stability, backing and focus they need prior to going into the ICC T20 World Cup next month,” the statement of Wasim Khan further read.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is slated to begin on October 17. Before the tournament, Pakistan will host New Zealand and England for limited-over series. Recently, Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis stepped down from their positions. Abdul Razzaq and Saqlain Mushtaq have been appointed as the interim coaches for the Pakistan team, who will guide the squad for the upcoming New Zealand series.

Pakistan Named A 15 Member Squad And 3 Standby Players For T20I World Cup Omitting Shoaib Malik, Faheem Ashraf, And Sarfaraz Ahmed

Pakistan named a 15-member squad and 3 stand-by players for their campaign in the UAE on Monday. Sarfaraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, and Faheem Ashraf were notable omissions from the Babar Azam-led side.

Pakistan on Monday named a 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup and the home T20I series against New Zealand and England. Senior members Sarfaraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz did not find a place while the likes of fresh faces Azam Khan, Asif Ali, and Khushdil Shah made it to the squad.

Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters
Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters

Aggressive opener Fakhar Zaman and leg-spinner Usman Qadir were not picked in the 15-man squad but the two players along with Shahnawaz Dahani were picked as reserves for the T20 World Cup, starting October 17 in the UAE. Babar Azam will lead the 15-man squad which will also not have senior all-rounder Shoaib Malik.

Pakistan squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Azam Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi.

Reserves: Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
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Pakistan Named A 15 Men Squad And 3 Stand-Bys For 2021 T20I World Cup

Pakistan named a 15-member squad and 3 stand-by players for their campaign in the UAE on Monday. Sarfaraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, and Faheem Ashraf were notable omissions from the Babar Azam-led side.

Pakistan on Monday named a 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup and the home T20I series against New Zealand and England. Senior members Sarfaraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz did not find a place while the likes of fresh faces Azam Khan, Asif Ali, and Khushdil Shah made it to the squad.

 Pakistan's Babar Azam will lead Pakistan's 15-man squad at T20 World Cup (Reuters Photo)
Pakistan’s Babar Azam will lead Pakistan’s 15-man squad at T20 World Cup (Reuters Photo)

Pakistan Named A 15 Men Squad Along With 3 Standbys For T20I World Cup

Aggressive opener Fakhar Zaman and leg-spinner Usman Qadir were not picked in the 15-man squad but the two players along with Shahnawaz Dahani were picked as reserves for the T20 World Cup, starting October 17 in the UAE. Babar Azam will lead the 15-man squad which will also not have senior all-rounder Shoaib Malik.
Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez
Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez Photo: AFP
However, Mohammad Hafeez has been picked following a string of consistent performances. Mohammad Rizwan will continue to be the first choice wicketkeeper while big-hitter Azam Khan has been picked ahead of Sarfaraz Ahmed, their Champions Trophy-winning former captain, as the back-up wicketkeeper. All-rounder Faheem Ashraf and batsman Sharjeel Khan were also not picked in the main squad.
The veteran cricketer Shoaib Malik is missing from the squad having not played for Pakistan in the format since September 2020.  There are a few surprises in the squad as veteran players like Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed, who captained Pakistan in 2007 and 2016 T20 WCs respectively, did not get a chance in the squad.

Azam Khan And Mohammad Wasim Junior Preferred Over Sarfaraz Ahmed And Faheem Ashraf Respectively

The seven home T20Is (against England and New Zealand) in Lahore and Rawalpindi will be played from 25 September to 14 October, while Pakistan will proceed to take on India in a battle of former champions in their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup opener in Dubai on 24 October.

“Azam Khan is an aggressive and attacking batter who also keeps wickets, a combination that has earned him the selectors’ nod ahead of Sarfaraz Ahmed,” Chief Selector Muhammad Wasim said after announcing the squad on Monday.

“Mohammad Wasim Junior has been preferred over Faheem Ashraf due to his pace and ability to hit big shots. Wasim will bolster the fast bowling unit, which comprises Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain and Shaheen Shah Afridi.”

Pakistan will proceed to take on India in ICC Men's T20 World Cup opener in Dubai on 24 October.
Pakistan will proceed to take on India in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup opener in Dubai on 24 October. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir were unlucky to miss out on the selections. Sohaib Maqsood’s ability to bat and perform anywhere in the top-order has given him an edge over Fakhar, while the presence of three experienced spinners, who are also capable batters, and five genuine wicket-taking fast bowlers made it difficult for Usman Qadir to get into the side.”

Azam Khan has been impressive in the PSL off late and also made his debut for Pakistan on England tour earlier this year. The same squad will face New Zealand and England in the upcoming bilateral series at home. Pakistan has been drawn alongside India in Group 2 in the Super 12 stages of the T20 World Cup along with New Zealand and Afghanistan.

Pakistan squad for T20 World Cup in the UAE: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Azam Khan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Wasim, Shaheen Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood.

Reserves: Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir.

Pakistan’s Schedule Of Matches In T20I World Cup

24 Oct – Pakistan v India, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai

26 Oct – Pakistan v New Zealand, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah

29 Oct – Pakistan v Afghanistan, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai

2 Nov – Pakistan v A2, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Sheikh Zayed International Cricket Stadium, Abdu Dhabi

7 Nov –Pakistan v B1, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah

Pakistan coaching unit - comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)
Pakistan coaching unit - comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)
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Misbah-ul-Haq And Waqar Younis Step Down As Pakistan Coaches Before 2021 T20I WC

Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis have stepped down from their positions as head coach and bowling coach of the national men’s team respectively.
Misbah-ul-Haq cited spending “considerable time away from my family in a bio-secure environment” as the reason for his decision. Waqar Younis said that since he and Misbah-ul-Haq had walked into the roles together, it made sense to also “step down together”.
Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP
Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP

Misbah-ul-Haq And Waqar Younis Steps Down From Positions Of Head Coach And Bowling Coach Respectively

With New Zealand scheduled to arrive in Pakistan for a white-ball series later this month, the PCB has appointed Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq as interim coaches of the team.  Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis communicated their decisions to the PCB on Monday morning, around the time the squads for the upcoming series against New Zealand as well as England at home and then the T20 World Cup were made public.
The coaches had been appointed to their positions in September 2019, and still had a year left in their contracts. Misbah-ul-Haq was initially also appointed as a chief selector with his head coach position in 2019 but had resigned last year from the selection job citing a heavy workload.
“The quarantine in Jamaica post the West Indies series provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the past 24 months as well as the schedule for international cricket ahead,” Misbah said in a statement issued by the PCB.
“Considering that I would have had to continue to spend considerable time away from my family and that too in a bio-secure environment, I have decided to step down from the role.” 
Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)
“I understand that the timing may not be ideal but I don’t think I am in the right frame of mind for the upcoming challenges and it makes sense for someone fresh to step in and take the side forward. The past 24 months have been thoroughly enjoyable and I want to thank my team and the management for their support. I wish the Pakistan cricket team best of luck in the upcoming events and will continue to support them every time they will take the field to represent Pakistan.”
Pakistan announced a 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup on Monday. While Babar Azam was named captain, the likes of Fakhar Zaman, Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik, Faheem Ashraf, and Sarfaraz Ahmed were notable omissions.

Waqar Younis Quits Since He Felt It Was The Appropriate Moment As Misbah-ul-Haq Quit Earlier Citing Bio Bubble Fatigue

Waqar Younis called his decision “straightforward” once he knew what Misbah-ul-Haq was thinking.
“After Misbah shared with me his decision and future plans, it was a straightforward one for me to resign as we had walked into the roles together, had worked collectively as a pair and now also step down together,” he said. “Working with the Pakistan bowlers, including the youngsters, has been most satisfying as they have now started to show progress. Bio-secure environments in the past 16 months have had their impact, something we had never experienced during our playing days.”
Waqar Younis, left, said that after Misbah-ul-Haq, right, shared with him his decision and future plans, it was a straightforward decision for him to resign. File Photo
Waqar Younis- left, said that after Misbah-ul-Haq- right, shared with him his decision and future plans, it was a straightforward decision for him to resign. File Photo
“The next eight months will be busy and exciting for the Pakistan team and, like in the past, I will continue to back and cheer them. I want to thank each and every member of the Pakistan cricket team set-up as we stayed united in good and bad days, and hope there will be brighter days ahead.”

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq conceded that the timing of his decision is not right but stressed he is not in the right frame of mind for the upcoming challenges. Bowling coach Waqar Younis also stepped down with just a month to go for the T20 World Cup. Pakistan had a poor limited-overs stint against England as Misbah-ul-Haq’s coaching tenure came under scrutiny. Without the senior players being available, the England side won both the ODI and T20 series against the men in green.

Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League
Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League
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Shahid Afridi May Retire After PSL 2022

Shahid Afridi looks set to finally call time on his playing career, strongly suggesting next year’s season at the Pakistan Super League will be his last.
Shahid Afridi, who is currently with Multan Sultans and spent two seasons at Peshawar Zalmi and one at Karachi Kings, expressed a desire to represent a fourth franchise, Quetta Gladiators, in his final season.
Shahid Afridi suggested he may finally call it a day AFP/Getty Images
Shahid Afridi suggested he may finally call it a day AFP/Getty Images

Shahid Afridi Last Played For Pakistan More Than 5 Years Ago But Has Continued To Play In The PSL Since Its Inception

Shahid Afridi last played international cricket for Pakistan more than five years ago in 2016 but has continued to take part in the PSL ever since its inception well into his forties.  In his international career, he scored 11,196 runs with 11 centuries and 51 half-centuries. He also picked up 541 wickets at the highest level with 10 five-wicket hauls.
“Maybe this ends up being my last PSL,” Shahid Afridi told reporters. “I would like to play for Quetta Gladiators this season, provided Multan allows me to leave. If Nadeem Omar and Quetta’s owners want to have me, I would love to represent them.”
Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP
Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs, and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP

He captained Peshawar Zalmi in the first season and was part of the team that won the title the following year. His current franchise, Multan Sultans, are the defending champions, having beaten Peshawar Zalmi in the final in June. Shahid Afridi played a part in the first half of this year’s edition before missing the UAE leg with a back injury.

Shahid Afridi, however, who played four times for Multan Sultans during the Karachi leg of the tournament, wasn’t available for the UAE leg after suffering the injury during training. Shahid Afridi retired from international cricket back in 2016 but continued to play league cricket mostly in Pakistan.

He has won the PSL with Peshawar Zalmi in his second season at the franchise, and also played a minor role for the Multan Sultans when they won the trophy last year.

Shahid Afridi Has Been One Of The Most Successful All-rounders In PSL

In case Shahid Afridi retires next season, he would walk away from the Pakistan Super League as one of its most successful all-rounders. To date, Shahid Afridi has 44 wickets in 50 Pakistan Super League games at an economy rate of 6.97. That places him eighth on the all-time list; no one who has taken more wickets and conceded fewer than seven runs per over.

While he has been relatively less successful with the bat, he has still had an impact. His 465 runs have come at a strike rate of 153.46 – only Kieron Pollard (166.24), Luke Ronchi (166.12), and Asif Ali (164.29) top that for those with at least 30 innings. Babar Azam tops the list of highest run-getters with 2070 runs in 58 PSL matches. Kamran Akmal with 1820 runs is 2nd on the list.

Wahab Riaz. Image-Sky Sports
Wahab Riaz. Image-Sky Sports

Amongst bowlers, Wahab Riaz tops the list with 94 wickets while the likes of Hasan Ali -72 scalps, Faheem Ashraf, and Mohammed Nawaz-55 scalps each, Mohammed Amir-54 scalps, Sohail Tanvir-53 scalps, and Shaheen Shah Afridi-50 scalps are amongst bowlers with 50 or more wickets in the PSL.

The 2022 Pakistan Super League will take place in January and February after it was moved to an earlier window to avoid a clash with the Indian Premier League and squeeze in a tour by Australia.

Wahab Riaz. Image-Sky Sports
Wahab Riaz. Image-Sky Sports
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Wahab Riaz Feels Pakistan Can Beat India In T20I World Cup 2021

Wahab Riaz, Pakistan pacer, in an interview with PakPassion.net, claimed that the Men in Green Pakistan can beat India during the upcoming T20 World Cup. The 36-year-old believed that Pakistan could beat any team in the world if it played up to its potential.

Wahab Riaz. (Credits: Twitter)
Wahab Riaz. (Credits: Twitter)

Wahab Riaz: Pakistan Has The Ability To Beat India In 2021 T20I World Cup If It Plays To Its Potential

India and Pakistan haven’t been playing any bilateral series for a long time now (since 2012-13) with the political issues going on but they have been meeting in the ICC tournaments or the Asia cup.

The T20I World Cup 2021 group stages will also feature India and Pakistan taking on each other on October 24 and the excitement has already started. Pakistan has never beaten India in any World Cup T20 or ODI game and they will be looking to break the streak in the upcoming fixture in the group stages.

“They definitely have the ability to achieve that result. If Pakistan plays to its potential, then they can beat any team in the world including India.

“Twenty20 cricket is such a format that the whole match can turn in the space of a few balls or even one incident and the Pakistan versus India match will be no different. If Pakistan play at their best, they can certainly beat India,” Wahab Riaz said.

“Given the conditions and where it’s being held, I believe Pakistan has a very good chance of winning the tournament. Pakistan has played a lot of cricket in UAE, and this gives them a very good chance to win the competition.

“They’ll be familiar with the conditions, and they’ll know what the ball will do. If they can utilize the conditions and use them to their advantage, then there is no reason why they can’t be considered amongst the leading contenders for the title,” he added.

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Pakistan has been in an excellent run of form in 2021 as they started off with two consecutive home and away series wins against South Africa. They won the next T20I series against Zimbabwe as well but couldn’t get past the line in England where they lost the series 1-2. Their previous series against West Indies ended in their favour as well with a 1-0 win in the four-match rain-hit series.

After the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka squad during a bilateral series in Pakistan in 2009, Pakistan was banned by ICC from hosting any international games due to security concerns. Their home matches were shifted to UAE later, and the country observed UAE as their home ground for many years in the last decade. Now, the situation has improved in Pakistan and their home matches are being scheduled in their own country.

Wahab Riaz  Feels He Has To Perform As It’s Up To The Selectors To Include Him Or Not For T20I World Cup

The fiery pacer stated that he had nothing to prove while revealing that the final decision of his inclusion in the squad rested with the national selectors.

“If it was up to me, then yes you will. But it’s up to the selectors who they want included in the side and who they think will provide the maximum utility. As a player, all you can do is to perform and that’s what my aim is and that’s what I am doing around the world.”

Pakistan Cricket Team
Pakistan Cricket Team (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Lately, I’ve played in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), and I have shown what I am capable of, and I don’t think I have to prove it again and again. Regardless of what they feel, I am performing well wherever I am getting a chance to play. So, let’s see what the selectors have in mind and whether they want me to be a part of future squads is totally up to them,” Wahab Riaz concluded.

Wahab Riaz hasn’t been in the Pakistan T20 side for a long time now and he will be looking for a comeback in the T20 World Cup squad.

Wahab Riaz has so far played 27 Tests, 91 ODIs, and 36 T20I games for Pakistan. He has bagged 83 wickets in Tests and 120 in ODIs. In T20Is, he accounts for 34 scalps. Since December 2020, he has not represented the national side but was active in franchise T20 league Pakistan Super League 2021 (PSL).

Darren Sammy goes traditional after Peshawar Zalmi's PSL title win in 2017 AFP via Getty Images
Darren Sammy goes traditional after Peshawar Zalmi's PSL title win in 2017 AFP via Getty Images
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Darren Sammy Insists PSL 2021 Wasn’t Called Off Due To Him And Wahab Riaz

Darren Sammy and Wahab Riaz had allegedly breached the bio-secure bubble in the first half of PSL 2021. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 will reportedly resume in the first week of June, and all the teams would be gearing up for the marquee event.

Wahab Riaz. Image - @thePSLt20/Twitter.
Wahab Riaz. Image – @thePSLt20/Twitter.

Darren Sammy Insists He And Wahab Riaz Didn’t Break The Bio-Secure Bubble

The T20 tournament, which was initially scheduled to take place in February and March, was suspended midway after several members contracted the COVID-19 virus despite being in the bio-bubble. While the main reason behind the breach isn’t understood yet, some reports suggested that Wahab Riaz and Darren Sammy have violated the protocols. Darren Sammy is the head coach of Peshawar Zalmi, while Wahab Riaz leads the side.

At the start of PSL 2021, the duo was accused of breaching the bio-secure protocols to meet team owner Javed Afridi during their practice session. As per the rules, they were supposed to be in isolation for three days and had to return two negative COVID-19 tests to be allowed back in the bubble. However, Darren Sammy and Wahab Riaz joined the squad before the required period, and the latter even played all the games.

England batsman Tom Banton tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan.
England batsman Tom Banton tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan. (Source: Twitter/ Getty Images)

Subsequently, fans lashed out at Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for easing the norms for the duo. The duo came under the scanner even further when the entire competition was postponed. Speaking of the same, Darren Sammy claimed he had nothing to do with the PSL being paused indefinitely.

“I wouldn’t say we broke the bio-secure bubble. This is new territory for everybody. When I read the news, it made it sound like Wahab and myself left the hotel and ventured out. We just had training and we said hello to our boss (Javed Afridi). By the time we realized what had happened, we had two COVID tests, so did the Boss,” Sammy said in an interview with The Current.

Peshawar Zalmi has a strong squad for PSL 2021 consisting of the likes of Fabian Allen, David Miller, Fidel Edwards, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, and the team management will expect their batsmen to perform better under mentor and batting consultant Inzamam-ul-Haq’s guidance.

Fawad Ahmed, Tom Banton, and another Islamabad United player besides one support staff member with the Karachi Kings (Kamran Khan) testing positive for Covid-19 have led to concerns which eventually led to the postponement of PSL 2021.

Darren Sammy: PSL 2021 Wasn’t Called Off Because Of Me And Wahab Riaz Shaking Hands With Peshawar Zalmi Boss

Highlighting that no one from the Peshawar Zalmi squad had got infected, the former West Indies captain said that the whole team was very strict about the rules, so it would be wrong to claim that PSL 2021 was suspended due to Wahab Riaz and his actions.

“We were negative and I could tell you from that day onwards, Peshawar Zalmi was really strict to the books and if you noticed, none of our players tested positive during or after that and the tournament was definitely not called off because of me and Wahab shaking hands with our boss at the cricket ground,” he added.

Darren Sammy
Darren Sammy. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

PSL will now be resuming in Abu Dhabi, with Darren Sammy joining his team soon. The Wahab Riaz-led side is currently second in the team standings, with three wins in five games.

Only 14 games were completed in the 34-match tournament. The remaining 20 Pakistan Super League 2021 matches are scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from June 1-20.

Wasim Akram. (Photo: Twitter/ @shoaib100mph)
Wasim Akram. (Photo: Twitter/ @shoaib100mph)
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Mohammad Amir Should Be In Pakistan’s T20I Squad For 2021 World Cup: Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram said that Pakistan needs a bowler of Mohammad Amir’s calibre to guide the young generation. Former Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram reckons that Mohammad Amir should be included in the national squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup slated later this year.

Back in December 2020, Mohammad Amir announced his retirement from international cricket at the age of 29, and the same created a lot of ruckus in the Pakistan cricket fraternity.

Wasim Akram and Mohammad Amir
Wasim Akram and Mohammad Amir. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Wasim Akram Surprised At Experienced Mohammad Amir’s Retirement And Thinks He Should Be In Pakistan’s World T20 Squad

Later he withdrew his retirement, but lashed out, saying that until and unless the current team management is present, he won’t be making a comeback. In the meantime, Wasim Akram who is Pakistan’s all-time highest wicket-taker, criticized the national team management for keeping Mohammad Amir on the sidelines regarding selection in the Pakistan team.

“I am very surprised because Amir is a very experienced bowler and one of the best in the world in T20 cricket. Personally, I think he should be in Pakistan’s World T20 squad,” Akram told a TV channel, reported by Firstpost.

Mohammad Amir Photograph: K.M. Chaudary/AP
Mohammad Amir Photograph: K.M. Chaudary/AP

Wasim Akram, also a former Pakistan skipper, was clear cut in saying that pacer Mohammad Amir’s decision to retire from Test cricket was personal and no offence should be taken from the same.

“Other players have done it but no one says anything about them. So why Amir? I think if he is available for other formats he should be playing for Pakistan.”

On 26 July 2019, Mohammad Amir announced his retirement from Test cricket in order to focus on limited-overs cricket. On 17 December 2020, he announced his retirement from international cricket. Mohammad Amir played 36 Tests, 61 ODIs and 50 T20Is before announcing retirement. He claimed 259 wickets across formats.

Mohammad Amir has not played for Pakistan since last year when he had a fall out with the Pakistan team head coach, Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach, Waqar Younis and has maintained that he will not play for the national team until they remain in charge.

Wasim Akram Feels Experienced Bowlers Like Mohammad Amir Is Needed In T20I World Cup To Advise And Guide Youngsters

Mohammad Amir is a part of the Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) where Wasim Akram is the director of cricket and the head coach of the team. Wasim Akram said that Pakistan needs a bowler of Mohammad Amir’s calibre to guide the young generation.

“In World Cup events you need experienced bowlers who can also advise and guide the younger bowlers,” Akram feels.

Naseem Shah of Pakistan celebrates after taking his first test wicket, the wicket of David Warner
Naseem Shah of Pakistan celebrates after taking his first test wicket, the wicket of David Warner (Photo by Chris Hyde – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Wasim Akram said that too much fuss is being created over Mohammad Amir’s personal calls.

Speaking on the same, the veteran said, “Other players also take time off for the birth of their child so what is the big deal.”

With the situation in India deteriorating due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a chance for the T20 World Cup to be shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As per Wasim Akram, Pakistan could have the edge if the mega event takes place in the gulf country.

“We need to have more impact players in the T20 squad, those who can play without fear of failure only then can we do well,” Akram added.

Pakistan defeated South Africa in Tests and T20Is at home earlier this year and then won the T20I and ODI series in the return series before wrapping up the African safari with T20I and Test series wins in Harare. Pakistan has pacers like Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Naseem Shah, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Abbas in their ranks.

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
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Peshawar Zalmi Signs Inzamam-ul-Haq As Mentor And Batting Consultant For PSL 2021

Peshawar Zalmi took to social media Twitter on Saturday to announce that they have signed former Pakistan batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq as a mentor and batting consultant for their remaining matches of Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021.

Inzamam-ul-Haq is one of the most successful batsmen in Pakistan cricket history. The former Pakistan skipper played 378 ODI matches, scoring 11,739 runs at an average of 39.53. In Test cricket, Inzamam-ul-Haq has amassed 8,830 runs, including 46 half-centuries and 25 hundred.

Inzamam-ul-Haq
Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP

Peshawar Zalmi Ropes In Legendary Former Pakistan Skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq As Mentor Cum Batting Consultant

Since retiring, Inzamam-ul-Haq has had coaching stints with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Peshawar Zalmi welcomed him to their franchise with the following tweet: “Legend Inzamam Ul Haq joins Peshawar Zalmi as Mentor/Batting Consultant for remaining matches of PSL 6. Welcome to the Zalmi family.”

Inzamam-ul-Haq played a vital role in the rise of the Afghanistan cricket team. When he was the team’s coach, the Afghans upset the West Indies in the ICC T20 World Cup 2016. Peshawar Zalmi has a strong squad for PSL 2021, and the team management will expect their batsmen to perform better under Inzamam-ul-Haq’s guidance.

Peshawar Zalmi Is In 2nd Spot Before IPL 6 Was Suspended Midway Due To Bio Bubble Breach

Having recorded three wins and two defeats in the first phase of PSL 2021, Peshawar Zalmi is currently in the second position on the points table, behind defending champions Karachi Kings. Peshawar Zalmi won three of their five matches in the first phase of PSL 2021.

Peshawar will resume their PSL 2021 campaign on June 4 against the Lahore Qalandars. The team has a strong chance of qualifying for the next round.

Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

With the likes of Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik, Ravi Bopara, Fidel Edwards, David Miller, and Sherfane Rutherford in their ranks, Peshawar Zalmi will start as one of the favourites to win PSL 2021 in the UAE.

Shimron Hetmyer will make his Pakistan Super League debut with Multan Sultans. PSL 6, which was suspended in March, will resume in Abu Dhabi in June. Multan Sultans signed the West Indies big-hitter along with opener Johnson Charles.

Afghanistan’s star-leg spinner Rashid Khan will return to Lahore Qalandar for the PSL 6. The six-team tournament was stopped after 14 games in March after seven people, including six players, tested positive for COVID-19, and the franchises were allowed to add two more players to their squads in Saturday’s virtual players draft.

Peshawar Zalmi: Wahab Riaz (c), Abrar Ahmed, Amad Butt, Bismillah Khan, David Miller (partially available), Fabian Allen (partially available), Fidel Edwards (partially available), Haider Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Amir Khan, Mohammad Irfan Snr, Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Imran Randhawa, Rovman Powell, Waqar Salamkheil, Sherfane Rutherford, Shoaib Malik, and Umaid Asif

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