During the World Cup 2011 semi-final against India, Wahab Riaz had replaced Shoaib Akhtar in the side. The left-arm pacer proved his selection right. Pakistan’s coach back then was Waqar Younis. Nine years on, the same man still backs Wahab to produce match-winning performances as he did with his five-wicket haul in that semi-final.
But earlier this week, Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis had said that the team had to pick young players for the Australia tour as experienced pacers like Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir had ditched the side. During an Instagram live session, Waqar advised the 34-year-old left-arm pacer to keep working hard. He said that if Riaz has the hunger to play for Pakistan, then we will surely make another comeback.
“My firm belief is that you have got cricket left in you, you just keep working hard and Pakistan always need you. There is no match for experience when it comes to any form of the game. I think you still have the desire that you want to play for Pakistan. If you keep that hunger, it will bring you back,” Waqar Younis said.
After hearing these comments, Wahab Riaz said that his motive is to keep working hard but he requested Waqar to go easy on him. He also revealed that when he is not performing good, Waqar gets upset with him. He also said that he gets so upset that he won’t even talk to him.
“That’s what my motive is and I will keep doing it, but please go easy on me. At times, you get so angry with me when I don’t do good, you don’t even talk to me for a long time,” replied Riaz. After this, Waqar YOunis explained the reason behind his behaviour towards the pacer. “I get angry because I have spent time with you since your childhood. I know you are capable but sometimes you don’t do what is required,” he said.
Wahab Riaz believes he can still play for 3-4 years
Wahab Riaz then further went on say that he believes he can still play three or four years of cricket. He also revealed that his priority is to represent Pakistan while also adding that if he goes on to perform well at different leagues, its because of his desire to make a comeback for Pakistan.
“If I am talking realistically, I have another three to four years of cricket left in me depending on my fitness. I will always give first preference to Pakistan instead of leagues. Even when I am playing in leagues around the world, my eye is on representing Pakistan. I feel if I perform in these leagues, I have more chance of representing Pakistan. I learnt a big lesson after getting dropped post-2017 Champions Trophy.
“I made sure whatever cricket I play, I perform in that and make a comeback in Pakistan team. As long as I have the desire to play for Pakistan, I will keep working hard,” he concluded.
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