Pakistans pacer Wahab Riaz on Wednesday announced his retirement from international cricket saying he wants to continue his journey at the highest level of cricket but in the present scenario it is impossible to get back a place in the national team. He said here that for him the retirement brings an end to his “incredible journey” as he enjoyed playing cricket and earn respect.
“ It’s not an emotional decision ( retirement) and it is reality that I can not deliver to a high level in the presence of present day pace battery of Pakistan team. I have no regrets on calling it a day as I have always tried to give my best “ Wahab Riaz told a news conference. He further said in the presence of Shaheen Shah Afridi and other top notch fast bowlers he does not see a place for himself in the team and he has decided to part his way with the game except the T20 format.
The left armed 38-year-old said he will continue his association with the game by playing T20 leagues around the world. “Stepping off the international pitch. After an incredible journey, I’ve decided to retire from international cricket. Big thank you to PCB, my family, coaches, mentors, teammates, fans, and everyone who supported me,”he said. Wahab Riaz who made his ODI and T20I debut in 2008 and his first Test appearance came in 2010 said “Exciting times ahead in the world of franchise cricket”.
Wahab Riaz Career
Wahab Riaz played 27 Tests, 91 ODIs, and 36 T20Is for Pakistan and claimed more than 200 wickets in international cricket.During his Test debut against England at The Oval in 2010, Riaz bagged figures of 5 for 63, becoming the ninth Pakistan bowler to claim five wickets on debut. Wahab Riaz said he has enjoyed playing cricket from Pakistan and achieved a lot from the game and in his career he met success as well as failure.
“When I started playing cricket long ago it was my dream to represent the country at the highest level of the game and finally achieved it” said Wahab Riaz. His best performance in ODI cricket was against arch-rivals India, when he took 5 for 46 during the World Cup semi-final in Mohali. His scalps included the likes of Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni. Riaz also bowled one of the most memorable spells in Pakistan cricket history, when he bamboozled Australia’s Shane Watson with his pace and bounce during the 2015 World Cup clash in Adelaide.
The pacer played his last international game in December 2020, which was a T20I match against New Zealand in Hamilton. Wahab Riaz who is the Sports Minister of Punjab said it is hard to say goodbye to cricket at a time when he has focused to play the 2023 World Cup. “ I am thankful to my family , the Pakistan Cricket Board for their all out support to me and I am leaving the arena with pride and respect “, he added.
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