Pakistani pacer Wahab Riaz feels that Pakistan’s home venue shifting to UAE was a major setback for his career. According to Riaz, it emerged as a disadvantage to many pace bowlers since UAE has spin-friendly conditions. The left-arm pacer also feels that he should have represented Pakistan on more occasions than he did.
Wahab Riaz last played in the national jersey in December 2020, in a match against New Zealand. The 36-year-old was not part of the national side in any format this year, despite Pakistan playing many multi-format series in 2021 against teams like Zimbabwe, South Africa, England, and West Indies.
Pakistan’s Home Matches Shifting To UAE Was A Major Setback For Me: Wahab Riaz
In a conversation with PakPassion.net, Wahab Riaz said that he should have played for Pakistan on more occasions. The 36-year-old also said that Pakistan’s home matches shifting to UAE was a big setback to his international career.
“Yes, I feel that I should have represented Pakistan on more occasions than I did. But the major setback for me was when Pakistan’s home matches had to be shifted to UAE where spinners were needed more than pace-bowlers.
“That period of playing home matches in UAE was detrimental to the careers of a lot of Pakistani pace-bowlers. including myself. But who knows what the future holds, there might yet be a few more international matches to come for myself,” Wahan Riaz said.
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 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).