Veteran Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz announced his retirement from international cricket on Wednesday, 16 August. The 38-year-old last played for Pakistan in a T20I against New Zealand in December 2020. Despite his absence from international cricket, Riaz continued to play in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) for Peshawar Zalmi until recently in March. He became the first Pakistan bowler to take 400 T20 wickets.
Wahab Riaz took to Twitter to make his announcement:
While an official confirmation from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is awaited, the Lahore fast bowler shared the below statement on his retirement.
“I have been speaking about my retirement plans past two years, that 2023 is my target to retire from International cricket, and I feel comfortable now more than ever that I have served my country and National team to the best I could have,
“It has been an honor and a privilege to represent Pakistan on the international stage. As I bid farewell to this chapter, I am thrilled to embark on a new adventure in franchise cricket, where I hope to entertain and inspire audiences while competing against some of the best talents in the world”.
During his 13-year international career, Wahab Riaz played 154 matches (27 Tests, 91 ODIs and 36 T20Is) for Pakistan and took 237 wickets.
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Wahab Riaz’s International Career At A Glance
Renowned for his ability to bowl consistently at speeds in excess of 90 mph, Wahab Riaz was one of the most dangerous bowlers even the best of batsmen had faced. Although inconsistencies and injuries prevented the fast bowler from reaching even greater heights, Riaz is widely remembered for his performances in the 2011 and 2015 ODI World Cups.
Despite being a non-factor during the 2011 tournament, the 38-year-old came back to life with a devastating spell against India in the semi-finals in Mohali. Riaz tore apart the Indian top-order, taking the crucial wickets of Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni, taking 5/46 from his 10 overs.
However, Riaz’s finest moment for Pakistan came during the 2015 ODI World Cup, in which he took 16 wickets in seven matches at an average of 23. His ferocious spell for Shane Watson in the quarter-final against Australia is discussed as one of the best ever. Express fast bowling in world cup history.
The left arm fast bowler also played in the 2019 World Cup, taking 11 wickets in eight matches, during which he became Pakistan’s second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament’s history behind Wasim Akram.