Wahab Riaz appointed as Pakistan chief selector

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Wahab Riaz has been named as Pakistan chief selector on November 17. He will fill in the spot left vacant after Inzamam-ul-Haq stepped down from the position following conflict of interest allegations. The annoucement comes amidst a spectacular reshuffle of the Pakistan backroom follwing a group stage exit from the 2023 ODI World Cup.

Ever since, Babar Azam has relinquished captaincy across all formats, with the PCB management committee announcing Shaheen Afridi and Shan Masood as T20I and Test skipper respectively, while the ODI leadership spot remains vacant. Furthermore, Mohammad Hafeez will serve as both the team director and head coach as the PCB mulls to merge the roles.  

Menawhile, Riaz’s first assignment will be the squad selection for the three-match Test series against Australia, which starts from December 14 in Australia. That series will be followed by a five-match T20I series against New Zealand January 12 to 21 in New Zealand.

“I am honoured to assume the role of chairperson for the national men’s selection committee and I extend my gratitude to Chairman 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,” Riaz said in a release.

“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.

“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 skillsets. I will always be available to the players for feedback and advice,” he added.

Wahab, who made his international debut in 2008, represented the nation in 27 Tests, 91 ODIs and 36 T20Is picking up 237 wickets and scoring 1200 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. 

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