Wahab Riaz’s last minute inclusion in the Pakistan’s World Cup squad has astonished many passionate followers of the Game of the Gentleman. The left-handed pacer was out of the team after being thrashed by the Indian batsmen (87 runs in 8.4 overs) in a group match of the Champions Trophy-2017.
Mickey Arthur was forced to say that Wahab had never been a match-winning bowler for Pakistan. He wasn’t even selected in the 23-member probable list for the recently concluded series against England and the World Cup. His inclusion in the team is not only mystifying but miraculous.
Inzamam argued before media that Wahab was picked for his experience, his ability to reverse swing the ball and use the old ball better. Many don’t borrow this argument or explanation. The chief selector must satisfy us that if he knew Wahab’s qualities then why he was not picked in the list of 23 probable.
Wahab also gave a hilarious explanation about his inclusion in the team. He said he knew that he would be called. “I was quite hopeful as I had been dreaming all this where I was meeting Mickey Arthur or Inzamam.
When I received the call from Inzamam on Sunday night asking me to be ready for the World Cup it took me time to figure out whether it was a dream or not,” media reports quoted Wahab saying this. The pacer tells us that he is a person who believes his dreams. Poor Abid Ali must take some tips from Wahab and start dreaming for a Call.
Wahab hails from a privileged background in Lahore and there were rumours when he was surprisingly selected for the England tour of 2010 that his family’s influence had helped him. If Wahab’s recall was due to the struggles of the Pakistan fast bowlers in their 4-0 drubbing by England this month, even then the selectors should satisfy that why he was not selected earlier or if he has passed mandatory fitness tests.
Wahab’s selection has been widely criticized and even alleged that he has been picked under the pressure of a powerful Mafia which is beyond PCB’s control. WC-2019 is the last for 34 years old Wahab and he has every right to grab the opportunity. However, he would have to draw a line between playing for Pakistan and self. I wish and pray that Wahab, Shoaib and Hafeez deliver to make their last WC appearance memorable!