On Wednesday, international cricket saw the retirement of Pakistan’s left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz. The 38-year-old, who had picked up 237 wickets from 154 internationals, has decided to conclude his international cricket career. Nonetheless, Riaz’s involvement in franchise cricket will persist.
“Over the past two years, we’ve talked about my retirement intentions; my aim is to stop playing international cricket in 2023. I am now more comfortable than ever that I have dedicated my best efforts to serving my country and the national team. Representing Pakistan on the global stage has been both an honour and a privilege. As I bid farewell to this phase,” remarked Riaz.
The memorable moment in Riaz’s career is his fiery performance against Shane Watson in the 2015 World Cup. Despite recording figures of 2/54 from 9 overs during the match, his second spell stands out as one of the pivotal passages of the 2015 World Cup. Riaz managed to exert pressure on the Australian batsman, with Watson repeatedly dodging Riaz’s deliveries. Additionally, a dropped catch in the deep off Riaz’s bowling further characterized the encounter.
During his tenure, Riaz accumulated 120 wickets across 91 ODIs and secured 34 scalps while representing Pakistan in 36 T20Is. Despite his prowess in white ball cricket, Riaz’s Test career was a mix of success and challenges. Despite possessing pace, his consistency in line and length was erratic, rendering him unreliable for the team. Over the course of his relatively brief 27-match Test career, Riaz managed to secure 83 wickets.
Riaz, however, has expressed his intention to maintain his engagement in franchise cricket, affirming, “I am eagerly embracing a new journey in franchise cricket, where my aim is to captivate and motivate audiences while competing against some of the world’s finest talents.”
In the context of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Riaz emerges as the foremost wicket-taker with a tally of 113 wickets from 88 matches, characterized by an economy rate of 7.79 and an average of 22.68. Notably, Riaz entered politics earlier this year by taking on the position of interim Sports Minister for the Punjab state. This move marked his foray into politics while continuing to be an active presence in the cricket arena.