Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Pakistan chief selector Wahab Riaz has blasted fast bowler Haris Rauf for pulling out of the upcoming tour of Australia due to concerns about his workload.
Wahab noted that an agreement had initially been reached with Rauf to bowl 10 to 12 overs per day during the three-Test series, but the 30-year-old ended up choosing to withdraw.
A fast bowler himself, Wahab pointed out that Rauf was selected in the squad since many of Pakistan’s seamers, including Naseem Shah, Ihsanullah and Mohammad Hasnain, are recovering from injuries.
Rauf made his Test debut against England in December 2022 in Rawalpindi, but suffered a grade-II strain in his right quad after he stepped on the ball while fielding on the first day.
He has not featured in another Test match since then and would have had an opportunity to prove what he can do in the longest format had he accepted the proposal for the Australia tour.
“He’s an impact player and we need to utilise him in Test cricket. We only demanded him to bowl 10 to 12 overs per day. Also, that he bowled recently in one day cricket. The only issue is our bowlers who can bowl 140+ are unfit right now. So, as a player you need to sacrifice and you have to look [to] play for Pakistan instead of stepping back,” Wahab was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
Rauf recently featured in the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup and took 16 wickets in nine matches at an average of 33.31.
Pakistan won their first two matches against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka before suffering four straight defeats at the hands of India, Australia, Afghanistan and South Africa.
Despite bouncing back with wins over Bangladesh and New Zealand, they failed to make it to the semi-finals.
The men in green concluded their campaign on a sour note as England thumped them by 93 runs.
Pakistan’s Test series against Australia will begin on December 14 in Perth.
Pakistan Squad for Australia Test Series: Shan Masood (captain), Aamer Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi