‘Appreciate your decision’ – Shoaib Akhtar lauds Wahab Riaz for making himself available for England Tests

‘Appreciate your decision’ – Shoaib Akhtar lauds Wahab Riaz for making himself available for England Tests

Wahab went away from the format back in September 2019.

Wahab Riaz and Shoaib Akhtar
Wahab Riaz and Shoaib Akhtar. (Photo Source: Getty Images and Twitter)

Back in September 2019, Wahab Riaz, the Pakistan fast bowler, took a break from the red-ball format. Having played his last Test back in 2018, the left-arm speedster was finding it tough to get into the national team, though he was playing ODI and T20I cricket on a consistent basis. The decision didn’t go down well with a number of former cricketers by any means.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) wasn’t happy with him either. Subsequently, he was left out of the central contracts along with Hasan Ali and Mohammad Amir. In the meantime, the 34-year-old has decided to make a return to the longer format. The 34-year-old pacer has made himself available for the tour of England that gets underway in the month of July-August.

I straightaway said yes: Wahab Riaz

“I am very excited to be a part of this England tour. As you know this tour is being carried on in very unusual circumstances. I was called by the PCB to enquire if I am available to play Test cricket if required on a replacement basis. I straightaway said yes because my priority ultimately is to play for Pakistan,” Wahab was quoted as saying in a video conference with ESPNcricinfo.

In the meantime, Shoaib Akhtar, the former Pakistan seamer, has heaped praises on Wahab for making a return to Test cricket. The Rawalpindi Express lauded him for keeping his team as a priority and also wished for him to perform well in England.

Akhtar took to Twitter and wrote, “Really appreciate your decision Wahab Riaz to make yourself available for Test cricket. Keeping Pakistan first. You will do well in English conditions InshAllah.”

Here is Akhtar’s tweet

Wahab didn’t miss out on Akhtar’s message for him. He expressed gratitude towards the former cricketer. Wahab replied to Akhtar and wrote, “Means a lot coming from you chief.”

Here is Wahab’s reply

The tour of England gets underway on July 30 with the opening Test at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. Manchester and Nottingham are the hosts for the remaining two matches. Pakistan will also play three T20Is against the Three Lions in Leeds, Cardiff and Southampton.