Wahab Riaz takes indefinite break from red-ball cricket

Wahab Riaz, the Pakistan pacer, has taken an indefinite break from red-ball cricket to focus on the limited-overs formats. The left-arm pacer, who last played first-class cricket in November 2018, has conveyed his decision to the Pakistan Cricket Board while confirming that he has withdrawn from the upcoming Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the first-class competition in Pakistan.

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“After reviewing my past couple of years’ performances in red-ball cricket and the upcoming limited overs cricket, I have decided to take time off from first-class cricket. During this period, I will like to focus on 50-over and 20-over cricket, and continue to access my fitness for the longer version of the game,” Riaz said.

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The 34-year-old Riaz, whose last Test appearance was against Australia in October 2018, has played only four Tests since 2017. Having made his Test debut in 2010, Riaz has featured in 27 Tests for Pakistan, grabbing 83 wickets and two five-wicket hauls to his name.

While has hasn’t ruled out his return to red-ball cricket in the future, Riaz stressed that he would do so only if he’s convinced that that he can perform.

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“At a stage I feel I cannot only return but also perform with the red-ball, I would make myself available. The PCB had been trying to convince me to pursue my career with red-ball, but today I met them to convey my decision. I am grateful for their understanding and support,” the pacer concluded.