Playing in World Cup 2019 is my only goal: Wahab Riaz


JAMAICA: Wahab Riaz has only one immediate aim – to make Pakistan’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 squad, reported ICC.

Wahab, who was Pakistan’s leading wicket-taker at the 2015 World Cup, hasn’t played an ODI since June 2017.

With Pakistan boasting a formidable pace attack, the left-armer admits it’s hard to guarantee a spot in their squad, but will do everything in his power to pull on the famous green jersey at next year’s World Cup in England and Wales.

“It’s never easy to try and find a permanent place in a strong team like Pakistan which is doing so well at the moment,” he told Pak Passion.

“This is especially true when you are talking about Pakistan’s very effective bowling line-up but I know that I made my debut for Pakistan when our bowling was very strong and it happened due to my hard work. I was able to convince the selection committee then and I believe I can do it again.

“At the moment, being selected for the 2019 World Cup for Pakistan and performing well is my main, and only, priority at this time. There is also the 2020 World T20 on the horizon but I am firmly focused on playing in the 2019 World Cup at the moment.”

Despite being out of Pakistan’s one-day side for over a year now, Wahab – who has 79 ODI caps to his name – has no plans to withdraw from international cricket.

“It is my only desire as a professional cricketer and as a Pakistani to continue playing for my country,” he added.

“Playing for your country gives one great satisfaction. Moreover, being selected to play for a strong team like Pakistan means that you have to be one of the best fast bowlers in the world, so it’s a matter of honour and pride to see your name on the Pakistan team list and something I will never give up on.

“I am 33 but my fitness and ambition has never been stronger. I used to think that the fascination of playing for Pakistan would fade with time. But, if anything, my passion to represent Pakistan has only grown and become stronger than ever before.”