LAHORE (Monitoring Desk): Left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz believes his decision to take an ‘indefinite break’ from red-ball cricket following Mohammad Amir’s abrupt retirement from Test cricket, might have played a role in their exclusion from the central contract list for the 2020-21 season.
Many formerr cricketers, including, legendary pacer Wasim Akram, had said that the Men in Green have been severely affected by the retirements of the aforementioned duo in the longest format and criticised them for preferring money over country.
While speaking to a local sports channel, the Lahore-born pacer said that he is not disheartened over his omission from the central contract list, as his main goal is to make a comeback in the national side.
“It is possible that we have been exemplified for quitting red-ball cricket or maybe the PCB wanted to give a chance to young fast bowlers and groom them by keeping them centrally contracted,” said Wahab. “Central contract is not my priority. Playing for the country is and will always be. It will be an honour to play for the country whenever the opportunity arises.”
“I have not thought or planned to return to red-ball cricket. When I feel like playing, I will intimate the PCB about my decision,” he added.
The 34-year-old also reiterated that he will always give first preference to Pakistan over foreign Twenty20 leagues. “There is a false impression that we have given up red-ball cricket to make money from leagues. There is no such thing. We have always preferred to play for Pakistan and our decision should be respected,” he said.
It must be noted that despite missing out on central contracts, the duo will remain in contention for selection in what will be a busier cricket season as compared to the one that has just concluded, according to Pakistan’s head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq.