'My aim is to play for my country' - Wahab Riaz feels representing Pakistan is more important than getting a central contract

‘My aim is to play for my country’ – Wahab Riaz feels representing Pakistan is more important than getting a central contract

According to the pacer, steering his side to the win is the most important thing for him.

Wahab Riaz. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recently dropped Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir from their central contracts list, reportedly for quitting Test cricket. 35-year-old Wahab, who broke into the Test side in 2010, said that he decided to bid adieu to the traditional format after being overlooked by national selectors.

Wahab last donned the white jersey for Pakistan in 2018 against Australia. His inconsistent run in the Test squad made him take the decision of moving away from the traditional format. According to Wahab, he was interested in focussing more on white-ball cricket instead.

“I played a Test in October 2017 and then got another chance after exactly one year against Australia also in October on a flat pitch and was then dropped again for more than a year,” Wahab said in an interview as quoted by India Today.

“If I can’t play, it is not for me. So I was focussing on white-ball cricket and felt it would be best if I focussed on T20s and ODIs,” he added.

Wahab, who has plied his trade in T20 leagues across the world, revealed that playing for Pakistan is much more important for him than getting a central contract. According to the pacer, steering his side to the win is the most important thing for him.

I am fit and bowling well: Wahab Riaz

“I am fit and bowling well and I want to represent Pakistan in white-ball cricket so my aim is to play for my country. Not getting a central contract is up to the cricket board,” Wahab, who has a combined total of 228 wickets from 27 Tests, 89 ODIs and 31 T20Is, said.

“I like to be in the thick of action and do things for my team. If I can help my team win that is the most important thing for me, nothing else,” added the speedster.

Wahab had grabbed eyeballs with his five-wicket haul against India in the 2011 World Cup semi-final. After replacing Shoaib Akhtar in the high-octane encounter, Wahab made sure that he left a mark in the marquee event.

He followed it up with an impressive bowling display in the 2015 World Cup too. Wahab was Pakistan’s top wicket-taker, taking a total of 16 wickets, during the mega-event. His blistering spell to Shane Watson in the quarter-final of the World Cup is still fresh in the mind of every cricket fanatic.