Pakistan left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz has revealed of making a comeback in Pakistan colours in the 2019 World Cup. The quadrennial event is slated to be played next year in England and Wales. He has represented Pakistan in 79 One-day Internationals.
However, Riaz hasn’t been part of the Pakistan squad since October 2017. He was dropped from the side after a string of poor performances.
But, the veteran pacer had a good stint in the Vitality Twenty20 Blast. He bagged a total of 15 wickets and scored 152 runs for Derbyshire. His objective is to go onto represent Pakistan in the next World Cup.
“It’s never easy to try and find a permanent place in a strong team like Pakistan which is doing so well at the moment,” PakPassion.net quoted Riaz.
“This is especially true when you are talking about Pakistan’s very effective bowling line-up. But I know that I made my debut for Pakistan when our bowling was very strong. Hence I believe I can do it again. At the moment, being selected for the 2019 World Cup for Pakistan and performing well is my main, and only, priority,” he added.
Riaz stated that he would never give up on his mission to represent the Men in Green whenever possible.
“It is my only desire as a professional cricketer and as a Pakistani. I wish to continue playing for my country. Playing for your country gives one great satisfaction. Moreover, being selected to play for a strong team like Pakistan means that you have to be one of the best fast bowlers in the world. So it’s a matter of honour and pride to see your name on the Pakistan team list. This is something I will never give up on,” he remarked.
Wahab Riaz speaks on Mickey Arthur
Riaz was dropped from the side when Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur had questioned his worth ethics in training sessions. However, Wahab feels that Arthur was only highlighting the fact where he could improve on.
“I’m not sure if he was actually questioning my work ethic as in my opinion. He was merely providing feedback on areas of my game that he feels I can improve on,” Riaz explained.
“It is no secret that Mickey has been very firm about having a high-level fitness target for all the boys. I sat down with him before coming to England. We had a long chat about my fitness and training regime. Mickey provided his feedback on areas I can improve on. Mickey felt that I could do better, and I agree with his opinion because as a fast-bowler, especially in Test cricket, you cannot survive if you are not 100% fit,” he added.
Wahab Riaz has been an inconsistent performer for Pakistan over the years and it would be interesting whether he would be the part of 2019 World Cup squad for Pakistan or not.
However, he feels that he concentrates on focusing on his performances rather than thinking about what people think about them.
“The critics are doing what they do best and painting their version of the picture, but the reality is different, especially if one considers my performances in the past 12 months where I have played only one Test against Sri Lanka in the UAE, the PSL and put in some excellent performances during my stint with Derbyshire,” maintained Riaz.
“Instead of worrying about critics, I am focusing on improving my economy. I am concentrating on bowling in death overs. Contributing with the bat and most importantly my fitness which is now a requirement for playing in any format of cricket,” he concluded.