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Mickey Arthur questions Wahab Riaz’s work ethics and training

The South African is aiming to make a cultural change in Pakistan cricket.

Mickey Arthur
Pakistan’s head coach Mickey Arthur. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Just before the beginning of a new season, Pakistan cricket once again sees itself in the headlines courtesy some selection issues for their upcoming tour to England in May 2018. As they gear up for Tests against Ireland and England, a squad of 25 players was announced for the training camp, out of whom only 16 will be touring to England this summer.

Wahab Riaz was a notable player missing from the list that saw questions being raised over Mickey Arthur, the coach, on his desire to create a ‘high-performance’ environment in the team. As per the coach, he laid emphasis on the intolerable dreary training work ethics that rules some of the players out of the team.

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According to ESPNcricinfo, the selection panel has chosen five fast bowlers — Mohammad Amir, Muhammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza and Rahat Ali — for the camp which will be attended by 25 cricketers.

Wahab needs to push himself for the sake of the team

Citing reasons that see Pakistan’s one of the best pace bowlers in recent times, not making a cut to the national side for the upcoming tour, Arthur said, “He has not won us a game in two years. I expect players that have been around for a long time to be winning us games and setting standards.” Arthur looked critical to judge Wahab on his performance in the last couple of years and conveys the message to experiment with the younger players, who are slowly earning themselves a name in the domestic circuit.

“We will invest in younger players who have long futures. We have good youngsters around, “he added.

Want to inculcate a winning habit

The Coach had no doubts over his ability with the ball but wants him to push in his ‘work ethics and training’. “I cannot fault Wahab when he has a ball in his hand but his work ethic around training is something [that] needs to be looked at.” He also aims to create an atmosphere where players are willing to win games for their country.

“I am changing the culture in this Pakistan environment and I am not interested in players doing just the bare minimum. I want players winning us games of cricket and pushing themselves to be the best they can be, “he told ESPNcricinfo.

This certainly is a sign of worry for Riaz, who recently scored a 17.4 in a fitness exam but the coach had wished to see him touch 19. Uncertainty looms over his career given his inconsistent run of play has hurt his chances to represent the country at the highest level. However, the pacer, who was the joint highest wicket-taker in PSL, needs to show some discipline in his training before he could win back Arthur’s confidence and present a strong for his selection in the team.

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