Former fast-bowler Wahab Riaz named new chief selector of Pakistan cricket team - GulfToday

Former fast-bowler Wahab Riaz named new chief selector of Pakistan cricket team


Wahab Riaz celebrates the dismissal of England's Jonny Bairstow during the Cricket World Cup match at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. File / AP

Former fast-bowler Wahab Riaz has been appointed as the new chief selector of the national men’s selection committee, said Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

He steps into the role which was left after Inzamam-ul Haq stepped down from the position amid conflict-of-interest allegations.

Riaz’s first assignment will be the selection of the Pakistan squad for the three-match Test tour of Australia from Dec.14 to Jan.7, followed by the five-match T20I series in New Zealand from Jan.12 to 21. He retired from international cricket in August this year.

“I am honoured to assume the role of chairperson for the national men's selection committee, and I extend my gratitude to the Chairman of the PCB Management Committee, Mr Zaka Ashraf, for entrusting me with this responsibility. The decision to involve former players in cricketing matters is commendable and I am willing to work for the betterment of Pakistan cricket.”

“Heading a selection committee is a challenging task. We have a significant Australia tour coming up that is part of the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle and a T20I series against New Zealand that will allow us to develop a formidable unit leading up to the ICC T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies in June next year,” said Riaz in a PCB statement.

Riaz, who made his international debut in 2008, represented Pakistan in 27 Tests, 91 ODIs and 36 T20Is picking up 237 wickets and scoring 1,200 runs across the three formats.

He was Pakistan’s second-most successful bowler in World Cups, registering 35 wickets across three editions of the marquee event.

“I have a good rapport with the Pakistan men’s Team Director Mohammad Hafeez, and we will be working closely for the success of Pakistan cricket. My primary goal would be to give weightage to the top performers in domestic cricket and announce well-rounded squads equipped with the necessary skill sets. I will always be available to the players for feedback and advice,” he added.

A number of changes have been made in the Pakistan team since it failed to progress beyond the league stage at the cricket World Cup and finished fifth in the 10-team event.

Captain Babar Azam resigned from all formats and the PCB handed the test captaincy to Shan Masood, while Shaheen Afridi will be the new T20 skipper.

Team director Mickey Arthur and head coach Grant Bradburn were also asked to report to the National cricket Academy in Lahore and both will not accompany the team on the tours of Australia and New Zealand.

Former captain Mohammad Hafeez has been appointed as the team director and will most likely also serve as the head coach. Both Hafeez and Masood will be part of the selection committee to pick the squad for the test series in Australia, which begins in Perth on Dec.14.


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