Pakistani fast bowler Wahab Riaz has announced that he’ll be taking an indefinite break from red-ball cricket in order to focus on the shorter formats.
Wahab has not played a first-class match in 2019 and last played a Test match against Australia back in October 2018. Since making his Test debut in England in 2010, Wahab has taken 83 wickets at an average of 34.50.
Making the announcement on Twitter, Wahab said: “After a lot of thinking and discussions with my family and board, I have decided to take a break from red-ball cricket and maintain my fitness and focus on the shorter format for my country.”
After a lot of thinking and discussions with my family and board, I have decided to take a break from red-ball cricket and maintain my fitness and focus on the shorter format for my country. It was a tough decision and I appreciate my Board’s support and guidance during this time
— Wahab Riaz (@WahabViki) September 12, 2019
Wahab played in all eight of Pakistan’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 fixtures and his decision to focus on white-ball cricket may well have been made with next year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia in mind. By the time the tournament begins in October 2020, Wahab will 35.
It’s actually been more than two years since Wahab last featured for Pakistan in T20I cricket. He is however a vastly experienced T20 campaigner. Only 13 cricketers have taken more than his 258 wickets in the format and only seven of them are pace bowlers.