Stop forcing Wahab Riaz to play Test cricket, Pakistan player says

Kamran Akmal said the selectors need to stop forcing Wahab Riaz to play Test cricket

Kamran Akmal on Wahab Riaz: “If he is not available or comfortable in Tests, then don’t force him to play in that format and play him in limited-overs matches only and judge him for those performances, instead of bringing up his decision to not play Test cricket”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal believes that the selectors needs to stop forcing fast bowler Wahab Riaz to play Test cricket.

This comes after Wahab took a break from red-ball cricket, which earned him a lot of criticism from many people, including head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq, as well as bowling coach Waqar Younis.

Wahab was ready to make his Test comeback during the recent tour of England, but he ultimately didn’t feature in any of the three Tests.

In fact, he only played in the third T20 International, where he took figures of 2-26 off his four overs to help Pakistan secure a five-run win.

But, Akmal thinks it is unacceptable for the selectors to push Wahab to play Test cricket if he is not willing or able to do so.

“The only reason any player should play for Pakistan is because he can help the national side win games. Whether its Sarfaraz Ahmed or Mohammad Rizwan is irrelevant as long as they are doing their job correctly,” Akmal told PakPassion. “The only way to find such players is to use the criteria of performance in whichever format of the game we are considering. If for example, Asad Shafiq is doing well in red-ball cricket, there is no need to try and slot him in the shorter formats.

“Similarly, as in the case of Wahab Riaz, if he is not available or comfortable in Tests, then don’t force him to play in that format and play him in limited-overs matches only and judge him for those performances, instead of bringing up his decision to not play Test cricket. I feel that this is the type of thinking that Misbah-ul-Haq will need to use when building our teams and is also something he needs to clearly communicate to his selectors as well.

“We know that Misbah himself has been through a similar situation to many cricketers, including myself find themselves in and he must be clear in his selection policy which should be performance-based and not about a ‘like and dislike’ culture.”

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