Wahab Riaz last Test was against Sri Lanka in October in Dubai while he featured in ODIs last in the Champions Trophy group game against India.
Wahab Riaz last Test was against Sri Lanka in October in Dubai while he featured in ODIs last in the Champions Trophy group game against India.

Out of favor Pakistan quick Wahab Riaz is eying the 2019 ICC World Cup for a return to the Pakistan setup.

“It’s never easy to try and find a permanent place in a strong team like Pakistan which is doing so well at the moment,” Raiz told PakPassion, adding, “This is especially true when you are talking about Pakistan’s very effective bowling line-up but I know that I made my debut for Pakistan when our bowling was very strong and it happened due to my hard work. I was able to convince the selection committee then and I believe I can do it again.”

Riaz,33, was an integral part of the Pakistan squad in all formats couple of years back but last played for Pakistan in any format in 2017. His last Test was against Sri Lanka in October in Dubai while he featured in ODIs last in the Champions Trophy group game against India.

“At the moment, being selected for the 2019 World Cup for Pakistan and performing well is my main, and only, priority at this time. There is also the 2020 World T20 on the horizon but I am firmly focused on playing in the 2019 World Cup at the moment,” he said.

The left-arm pacer has been out of favour after Mickey Arthur, who over as the coach of Pakistan in 2016, left him out of the of the list of 25 probables early this year for a preparatory camp. Arthur, commenting on Raiz had then told ESPNcricinfo, “He has not won us a game in two years. I expect players that have been around for a long time to be winning us games and setting standards”.

However, Raiz is hopeful of a return. “It is my only desire as a professional cricketer and as a Pakistani to continue playing for my country,” he said.

“Playing for your country gives one great satisfaction. Moreover, being selected to play for a strong team like Pakistan means that you have to be one of the best fast-bowlers in the world, so it’s a matter of honour and pride to see your name on the Pakistan team list and something I will never give up on.

“I am 33 but my fitness and ambition has never been stronger. I used to think that the fascination of playing for Pakistan would fade with time. But, if anything, my passion to represent Pakistan has only grown and become stronger than ever before,” he added.