Table of Contents
- Pakistan Cricket Board unveils squad for Australia tour, excluding Haris Rauf who withdrew at the last moment.
- Haris Rauf’s decision sparks comparisons to Mohammad Amir, but a report suggests he was never interested in the Australia tour and statements like ‘withdrew last moments’ are fabricated.
- Interim chief selector Wahab Riaz expresses disappointment, highlighting the need for players to prioritize national duty.
The upcoming Australia tour for Pakistan, set to feature a three-match test series in December-January, has been marked by a significant revelation from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The squad for the tour was unveiled on Monday, with the announcement made by the newly appointed interim chief selector, Wahab Riaz. Riaz took over the role from Inzamam ul Haq, who resigned amid the developing conflict of interest during the World Cup 2023.
One notable omission from the squad is Haris Rauf, who, according to Wahab, backed out at the last moment, expressing his reluctance to participate in the Australia series. This decision drew immediate comparisons to Mohammad Amir, who had previously chosen T20 leagues and financial gains over test cricket.
However, a report from ESPN contradicts this narrative, stating that Rauf did not leave midway but rather asserted that he was never inclined towards test cricket and had no interest in joining the Australian tour. Rauf, who last played a test match a year ago, also happened to be the most expensive bowler in the World Cup 2023, where he faced an injury and is currently focused on regaining energy and momentum for white-ball cricket.
Wahab Riaz shared a different perspective, indicating that Rauf had initially agreed to play Tests for Pakistan during a discussion two days prior. However, Rauf changed his stance, citing concerns about fitness and workload. D
espite assurances from the team management regarding support and flexibility, Rauf opted out of the Australia Test series. This decision has raised concerns about the impact on Pakistan cricket, especially considering the absence of frontline Test bowling options with the ability to create an impact.
As per Riaz, sacrificing personal considerations for the national team is crucial in such situations, emphasizing the need for players to prioritize representing Pakistan over individual choices. Haris Rauf, so far, has not publicly commented on the situation.
Wahab Riaz’s statements on Haris Rauf portray a different picture
“We spoke to Haris Rauf about this tour two days ago, and he gave his consent to playing Tests for Pakistan. However, he changed his mind last night and didn’t want to be a part of this Australia Test series,” Riaz said.
“He was worried about fitness issues and workload. We gave him assurances that we will facilitate him and accept any potential failures. Our physio said he has no injury concerns. He is fatigued, but we could have managed him well. However, he pulled out and is unavailable for this tour. I think this could hurt Pakistan cricket.
“We spoke to the captain and coach, and they wanted to utilise Haris Rauf as an impact player in Test cricket. We weren’t demanding more than 10-12 overs a day from him, which he has done in ODIs. Our frontline Test bowling options who bowl 140+ and can create an impact are unfit, all three of them. As a player, I think you need to sacrifice in such a situation and look to play for Pakistan rather than moving back.”
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