Left-arm Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz is planning to retire from international cricket after the 2023 World Cup in India.
The 36-year-old pacer, who has played 27 Tests, 91 ODIs and 36 T20Is, has not been a regular in the Pakistan team for a while now and was also ignored for the T20 World Cup 2021.
“Everyone has to say goodbye to cricket one day. But my target is to carry on playing until the 2023 World Cup; that is if I remain full[y] fit and my passion for the game remains strong as well. Obviously if I am performing I will carry on,” Wahab said in an interview.
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“I think I still have two or three years of good cricket left in me. I have been in and out of the national team for a while now but I am playing in domestic cricket and also in different leagues including the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and I am performing well so that is keeping me going,” he added.
The pacer, who appeared as an expert on the A sports channel for the World Cup, said he firmly believed that he could be around as a performing player until 2023.
“My belief is simple. Age is not a matter as long as a player is fit and performing and enjoying his cricket. There are so many examples around these days. Fitness levels, diet and all these things have improved a lot in modern day cricket, so times have changed.”
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Wahab said that unfortunately there were examples of players being sidelined because of their age in Pakistan cricket.
“I have nothing against young players, obviously you need them in the team. They bring energy and a future with them. But the thing is experience, especially as a fast bowler, is so very important especially in T20 cricket these days,” he said.
Wahab was disappointed about missing the World Cup but said he could understand the selectors’ policy.
“My job is to just focus on doing well as a player; that is all which is my control. If I can play in next year’s T20 World Cup or the 2023 event it would be great,” he added.