"I thought my career is over and probably I won't be able to play further" - Wahab Riaz 

Pakistan Nets Session
Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz

Pakistan pace bowler Wahab Riaz has opened up about his fears of the end of his playing career after being dropped from the national team.

Riaz has picked up 237 international wickets in 154 matches across all formats for an overall average of 33.55. The left-arm pace bowler hasn't featured in a national shirt for Pakistan since their tour to New Zealand in December 2020.

The Pakistan fast bowler appeared to be an expert on various broadcasters in Pakistan in back-to-back T20 World Cups. Riaz has expressed his wish to once again play for Pakistan in the coming years.

Speaking to Hafiz Muhammad Imran on Salman Butt's YouTube channel, Riaz acknowledged the fear of not playing for Pakistan again but cited the hunger in his belly that has kept the hopes alive.

The 37-year-old said:

"At times I also thought perhaps my career is over and probably I won't be able to (play further). I would say that the hunger to play for Pakistan still is my biggest motivation. Wherever I play now, I make sure to perform there thinking maybe I get another chance to play for Pakistan. I have an ambition that I would love to play before I leave cricket and serve Pakistan."

He added:

"It has been a tough journey. You had to climb big ladders and you had to come down. Somebody pushed you from the ladder while you were climbing. These all things keep happening but at the end of the day I am very happy to be the first Pakistani to get 400 wickets."


"I think it's a big achievement" - Wahab Riaz on completing 400 wickets in T20s

Riaz is currently playing for Khulna Tigers in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2023. With 11 dismissals in five matches, the left-arm quick is leading the bowling charts of the tournament so far.

Riaz claimed figures of 4 for 36 from four overs in Tigers' recent clash against Chattogram Challengers in Chattogram. He became the second fast bowler and overall sixth bowler in the history of T20 cricket to bag more than 400 wickets.

While reacting to joining the elite club of 400 wicket-takers in T20s, Riaz mentioned:

"I think it's a big achievement because you don't get anything easily. There are a lot of struggles and you have to put in enough hard work. When you start your career you have no idea till when you will play or when is your peak. There are many ups and downs in my cricket journey where I was dropped from the team very frequently."
Wahab Riaz became the first Pakistan bowler to take 400 wickets in T20 cricket. He's only the sixth bowler and second pacer after DJ Bravo to achieve the feat. He's also taken 1100 wickets in professional cricket now. Amazing achievement 👏👏 #BPL2023

Dwayne Bravo (614), Rashid Khan (497), Sunil Narine (474), Imran Tahir (466), and Shakib Al Hasan (436) are the other players who have picked more than 400 T20 wickets.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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