Home > 

Wahab Riaz Responds to Removal from PCB Selection Panel Amidst World Cup Fallout

In an unexpected turn of events, Wahab Riaz, the former chief selector of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has been relieved of his duties following Pakistan’s group-stage exit from the recently concluded ICC Men’s T20 World Cup held in the USA and the Caribbean. Opting for a more constructive approach, Wahab refrained from engaging in “blame games” and instead took to social media platform ‘X’ to share his thoughts and reflections on his tenure.

Wahab, a former left-arm fast bowler renowned for his pace and aggression, issued a statement addressing the public and expressing his pride in his contributions to Pakistan cricket. “My time serving as a member of the selection committee for PCB comes to an end, I just want my people to know that I have served the game I love with faith and sincerity and have given 100 per cent for the betterment of Pakistan cricket,” Wahab articulated in his post.

The decision to terminate Wahab’s role has not come without controversy. Reports circulating in the cricket fraternity suggested that Wahab exerted undue pressure on his fellow selection committee members and frequently overruled the other six panelists. He vehemently denied these allegations, emphasizing the collective nature of the decisions made by the panel.

“It has been an honour to serve as part of the selection panel,” Wahab stated. “To make collaborative decisions as part of the seven-man panel to select the national team was a privilege – everyone’s vote carried equal weight, we made selection decisions as a team & shared the responsibility of that process equally. It was an honour to contribute my part to that,” he added, reinforcing the democratic nature of the selection process under his tenure.

Despite his departure, Wahab chose to end his statement on a positive note, extending his well-wishes to Pakistan’s newly appointed white-ball head coach, Gary Kirsten, and the rest of the coaching staff. His statement appeared to be an effort to leave on good terms and foster a spirit of goodwill and solidarity within the Pakistani cricket establishment.

Wahab had taken over the reins as the chief selector in November of the previous year, succeeding Inzamam-ul-Haq who had resigned amid conflict-of-interest allegations. During his tenure, Wahab aimed to bring an element of innovation and data-driven decision-making to the selection process, a move that was initially met with optimism.

Join Get ₹99!


However, the winds of change began to blow with the arrival of Mohsin Naqvi as the new PCB chief, replacing Zaka Ashraf. Naqvi’s shake-up of the selection committee not only saw Wahab’s exit but also that of Abdul Razzaq, another prominent member. This reduction has now pared down the selection panel from seven to five members, comprising the captain and head coach of each format, alongside Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Yousuf, and data analyst Bilal Afzal.

Intricately woven into Wahab’s departure are the broader ramifications for Pakistani cricket, which has been striving for consistency and excellence on the international stage. The Men in Green’s failure to advance beyond the group stages in the recent World Cup has once again put the spotlight on selection policies, prompting a critical re-evaluation within the ranks of PCB.

As the cricket world processes this latest development, the reactions have been mixed. Some fans and analysts have viewed Wahab’s exit as a necessary step towards rejuvenating the PCB’s selection strategy. Others, though, have expressed concern over the frequent changes and internal conflicts that seem to plague the board, arguing for a more stable and long-term approach.

Wahab Riaz’s career, both as a player and as an administrator, is marked by moments of triumph alongside challenges. As he steps away from his role in the selection committee, the cricket community will undoubtedly continue to watch his journey with interest. Meanwhile, the newly reconstituted selection panel faces the daunting task of preparing the team for future international campaigns and restoring the faith of the fans in Pakistani cricket’s decision-making processes.

This restructuring within the PCB comes at a critical juncture as the team gears up for upcoming series that could redefine their standing in world cricket. The spotlight is now firmly on Gary Kirsten and the revamped selection committee to chart a new course and guide Pakistan cricket towards sustained success and glory on the global stage.