Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz has been left disappointed after being overlooked for the forthcoming England and West Indies tours. This has led him to question the thought process of the selection committee.
Pakistan are scheduled to play three T20Is and as many ODIs against England before taking on the West Indies in five T20Is and two Tests. 36-year-old Riaz has cast doubt over the selection criteria after being ignored for all three formats.
“Obviously, I am disappointed at my exclusion from the England and West Indies tours after my recent performances. But criteria of selection is a question for the selection committee but I think whoever performs well should be selected. They might have their reasons but as a senior performer I am disappointed at missing out,” Wahab Riaz told the media in Lahore.
Riaz led Peshawar Zalmi to a runners-up finish in the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL). He also finished the tournament as the second-highest wicket-taker with 18 scalps under his belt and was selected in the Team of the Tournament. Naturally, he is brimming with confidence and harbors hopes of playing in the T20 World Cup in October-November this year.
“I have not given up hope of playing in the World T20 this year and I think senior players as long as they are fit and performing should be considered for selection,” Riaz, who has taken 34 wickets at a strike-rate of 20.88 in 36 T20Is, added.
Selection has been a bone of contention in Pakistan cricket of late. The Muhammad Wasim-led committee has become known for ignoring senior pros like Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Amir, among others. Riaz also hinted at the management’s inability to rule the roost over seniors the way they treat rookies.
“I don’t know exactly what issue people have with senior players. Perhaps youngsters listen to what is told to them, while seniors always have their say in matters and you have to convince them,” Wahab Riaz concluded.
Notably, all-rounder Imad Wasim has earned a call-up in the shortest format after being left out of the previous three assignments.
Complete Pakistan squad for England and West Indies tours
Pakistan Test squad: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Yasir Shah (subject to fitness), Zahid Mahmood.
Pakistan ODI squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Qadir.
Pakistan T20I squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Arshad Iqbal, Azam Khan Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, Usman Qadir.