Pakistan fast-bowler Wahab Riaz has confirmed he is available to play Test cricket for his country. The left-arm pacer had announced his retirement from the longest format of the game last year just before the challenging tour of Australia.
Along with Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir had announced his retirement too. In Sepetmber, Wahab Riaz took an “indefinite break” from red-ball cricket, including the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Pakistan’s domestic first-class tournament. Following his decision, he was omitted from the PCB’s central contracts list earlier this year.
But the veteran pacer now looks set to bring his Pakistan career back on track as he has been named in the larger pool of 29 players, a combined squad for a series of three Tests and T20Is in England. If everything goes well, he can also make a comeback to Tests during the tour.
The 34-year old has said that if required he would don the whites for Pakistan in the upcoming series. Wahab Riaz added that he took the decision after a communication with PCB in which he was requested to play in the longest format if the need arrives in the August tour.
“I took the decision to not play Test cricket before this management was announced. Right now we are going to UK (England) and the circumstances due to Covid-19 are very unusual and we can travel with limited players as we have to go there and quarantine ourselves before the start of the series.
“So, there are no replacements at all. The good thing was PCB communicated with me to play Test cricket if required and to play for Pakistan is always a priority and so I said yes without thinking. We know that playing in England is not easy but I am not seeing the easiest part. I was being part of white-ball cricket but getting an opportunity to play for Pakistan in red-ball cricket is also a challenge for me which I have to accept and I accepted it. As a senior player, I want to set an example.
“It has to be for Pakistan and not for yourself and the colour of the ball does not matter. This is the reason why I took this decision and I am ready to play Test cricket if required. The priority was not different last year because of was not playing Test cricket regularly in last 3-4 years, before this management arrived. The priority was to focus on white-ball cricket. But as I said I agreed because there was a communication between PCB and me,” Wahab Riaz told ESPNcricinfo.