Pakistan speedster Wahab Riaz has said that the player’s performance should be the criteria for selection regardless of his age in a bid to return to the national side.
Wahab, 37, who played 154 matches for Pakistan across formats, hasn’t featured for the national team since December 2020. The pace bowler has accounted for 237 international dismissals at an average of 33.55.
Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf are in the fore of pace attack in white-ball formats. Youngsters like Mohammad Hasnain, Shahnawaz Dahani, and Mohammad Wasim Jr. are there to serve as the backup options for the frontline seamers.
On being asked to compete with the current lot of Pakistan pace bowlers to make a comeback in the Pakistan team, Wahab Riaz said on Salman Butt’s YouTube channel:
“To compete against them and win is in a very positive sense. If you perform well and return then I think that is more satisfactory. If you are fit and performing well, then that should be the criteria for all (regardless of age).
The 37-year-old mentioned how fast bowlers above the age of 36 were off the radar of selectors. Taking a dig at the board’s selection policy, Riaz added:
“Then in Pakistan you should say goodbye to anyone above 30 because you are looking for someone young. You perform well and maintain fitness and if you aren’t a burden on the team then you should definitely play. That’s what my belief is.”
He further said:
“I have that hunger and passion which is driving me still, else you don’t have any motivation in life. Playing is something else, but playing along with performance is something else.”
Riaz recently completed more than 400 T20 wickets while playing for Khulna Tigers in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2023. He became the second fastest bowler and overall sixth bowler to attain the remarkable feat.