It is always a dream for a cricketer to represent his country in the 50-overs World Cup. There have been many star cricketers who have scripted their names in the record books but haven’t played a single World Cup tournament. And then there is Wahab Riaz, who has already played a couple of mega events for Pakistan, but has now been recalled for the upcoming edition of the tournament.
He had last played an ODI match for Pakistan almost two years ago, in the Champions Trophy 2017. He wasn’t even called in a recent fitness camp of the Pakistan players before the preliminary World Cup squad was picked. But Lady Luck smiled on Wahab Riaz at the eleventh hour as the Pakistan selectors felt the team required an experienced bowler like him especially after the hammering they received from England in a five-match ODI series recently.
"I was informed late at night that I have to get ready to go to England. For a minute I couldn't believe what Inzi bhai told me. I asked 'where am I going?' to which he replied 'you are going to Rawalpindi for a match. Obviously, you are going to play the World Cup'", quoted Wahab Riaz on his surprising selection call from chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq.
There is a lot of pressure
Wahab admitted the fact that he hasn’t played much of white-ball cricket in the English conditions. His numbers also suggest the same- averages 96.25 in seven matches and has picked up just four wickets with a strike-rate of 86.5. His economy of 6.67 in England is also not a great one. Riaz mentioned that there is a lot of pressure on him as the selectors have recalled him from the experience point of view.
"I have played very less one-dayers in England. But, I have Test matches there because of which I am aware of conditions there. Last year I also turned out for Derby in T20 Championship. Obviously, there's a lot of pressure since Inzi bhai has said that I have been brought back on the basis of my experience,” he added.
"I have worked hard and matured as a bowler in the last two years. I have learnt a lot and the results are also visible to everyone... I have always said that the selectors are aware of what they are doing in my previous interviews. Now they feel that they need me. I am ready and will try my best to match the expectations that they have from me,” Wahab concluded.