“This will hurt Pakistan cricket”- Wahab Riaz unhappy with Haris Rauf pulling out of Australia Test tour

Wahab Riaz made his first Pakistan squad announced as new chief selector.

Haris Rauf has played just one Test | GettyNew Pakistan chief selector Wahab Riaz slammed pacer Haris Rauf for going back on his confirmation and pulling out of the upcoming three-Test tour of Australia which begins in December in Perth. Riaz, making his first selection announcement, unveiled an 18-member Pakistan squad for the series.

Shan Masood will captain the Pakistan team for the first time. The squad had three new faces Saim Ayub, Aamir Jamal, and Khurram Shahzad.

Wahab Riaz later revealed that pacer Haris Rauf had backed out of being a part of the Test squad for the tour of Australia and that it would "hurt Pakistan cricket".

"We spoke to Haris Rauf for this tour. When we spoke to him two days ago, he consented to play Test cricket for Pakistan. But last night he changed his mind, and now he doesn't want to be part of this Test series. I'm revealing this because we should be honest with officials, teammates, and the public. We spoke to Haris and he was worried about his body and fitness, as well as his workload. Mohammad Hafeez and I sat with him and tried to facilitate him in every way. We told him even if he didn't perform well there, we would accept it,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Wahab Riaz.

AUS v PAK 2023-24: Pakistan's 18-member squad for Australia Test tour announced; Saim Ayub included

He added:” Our physio spoke to him and said he wouldn't expect any issue or injury. Of course, there's fatigue, but we were sure we could have managed that very well. But he pulled out at the last moment and he made himself unavailable. I think this will hurt Pakistan cricket."

Rauf, according to ESPNCricinfo, sees his conversation with Wahab very differently. According to a source close to the player, Rauf never committed to playing the Test matches in Australia and verified his non-availability the night before. The reason was Rauf’s lack of red-ball cricket ahead of the Test tour.

Wahab Riaz | PCB"I just told you a short version of what Haris and I spoke about. We spoke to the captain and coach and said we view Haris Rauf as an impact bowler. We weren't demanding more than 10-12 overs a day. The only issue is when you say you're available for Pakistan, especially at a time when our three main high-pace bowlers, who can bowl over 140 [kph] other than Haris are unavailable. At some point, you need to sacrifice to play for your country. Haris was committed to us, and pulled out after two days,” Riaz continued.

CWC 2023: Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi congratulate Australia on World Cup win over India

Rauf has played just one Test, against England in Rawalpindi last year, and had gotten injured after bowling 13 overs. But the conditions in Australia, coupled with the unavailability of Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, and Ihsanullah, means Wahab appears to have felt strongly about having Rauf on tour.

"I've played with most of these boys and I have a great relationship with them. But when it comes to professionalism, we have to look at what's best for Pakistan. Haris was unavailable after the England series and not a part of any other Test series. When you are a centrally contracted player, you must serve Pakistan. I'm not disappointed, but the same players will later complain they weren't given the opportunity, and people will ask why such and such player wasn't selected,” Wahab said.

Wahab did say it wouldn't affect Rauf's inclusion in Pakistan's T20I and ODI sides, though, but that he would "respect and value the players who want to be a part of red-ball cricket. Playing red-ball cricket makes you a better player."

(ESPNCricinfo inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 20 Nov, 2023

    Share Via