After their subpar performance in the recently concluded ODI World Cup 2023, Pakistan will now be shifting their focus onto red-ball cricket ast they face Australia in a three-match Tests series from December 14 to January 7.
Ahead of the series, in a major development for Pakistan, it was announced that star Pacer Haris Rauf has pulled out of the series to better manage his workload. However, Rauf’s pulling out of the series did not sit well with the PCB’s (Pakistan Cricket Board) new chief selector Wahab Riaz.
Speaking to reporters, Riaz launched a scathing attack against Rauf and opined that his pulling out of the Test series will prove to be quite hurtful for Pakistan Cricket.
“We spoke to Haris Rauf for this tour, when we spoke to him two days ago, he gave his consent to play Test cricket for Pakistan. But last night he changed his mind, and now he doesn’t want to be part of this Test series. I’m revealing this because we should be honest with officials, team-mates, and the public. We spoke to Haris and he was worried about his body and fitness, as well as his workload. Mohammad Hafeez and I sat with him and tried to facilitate him in every way. We told him even if he didn’t perform well there, we would accept it,” Wahab Riaz was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
I think this will hurt Pakistan cricket: Wahab Riaz
Furthermore, Riaz opined that Rauf opting out of the Australia Test series will hurt Pakistan Cricket. The chief selector stated that the team physio even talked to him and ensured that no injury should hinder him.
“Our physio spoke to him and said he wouldn’t expect any issue or injury. Of course there’s fatigue, but we were sure we could have managed that very well. But he pulled out at the last moment and he made himself unavailable. I think this will hurt Pakistan cricket,” Riaz said.