Wahab Riaz vows to live up to nation’s expectation in WC


LAHORE, May 21 (APP):Pakistan World Cup cricket team pacer Wahab Riaz on Tuesday vowed to live up to expectations of people as well as the authorities by showcasing his talent during the mega event by bringing aggression and fire in his bowling.

“Defiantly it will be a challenging event and I am lucky to get a last-minute call to be part of the team and it is a honour to represent the country in a World Cup,” he told reporters here at a news conference.

Wahab, who was not part of the national team during the past two years, was a surprise inclusion in the side along with Mohammad Aamir and Asif Ali, replacing Faheem Ashraf, Junaid Khan and Abid Ali.

“Though I was not in the initial 23-member Pak squad, announced for the World Cup, even then I had a strong conviction that I will play this World Cup and a few days before my call, I had a dream that I have been called and the next day the chief selector Inzamam ul Haq rang me and informed that I will be playing,” he related the thoughts he had in his mind when not selected in the squad.

“My late father had a strong conviction that I will be playing the World Cup 2019 and in the circumstances when I was not part of the team for a couple of days, I did not get disappointed; I continued my hard work to remain in fitness and form,” said the all-rounder.

Wahab said during the past two years, he endeavoured to lift the level of his game to bring more maturity in his bowling and overall game and now the stage has come to demonstrate what he had learnt during these year (two years) to play his due role in enhancing teams performance during the Cup.

Defending Pak team’s performance in the recent one day series which it lost to England 4-0, Wahab said never before such a consistency was seen in Pak batting and the batsmen scored over 300 runs in all the four matches which is a clear indicator that batsmen are batting with necessary application and mind set.

“We have to look into positive aspect of this series for us, our batting clicked from top to bottom; our bowlers bowled well but not that good, and the main area where we lacked was the fielding and there is a room to improve in it as with patchy fielding we can not brighten our chances for success,” said Wahab.

To a question, he said he does not have much one day matches experience on English soil but has ample playing experience in the test matches there and he will be utilising his experience and the ability of reserve swing to contribute in teams performance. “ The team which has the ability to reverse swing the ball definitely had the edge over opponents,” he added.

Answering a question, he said not being part of the team during the past two years left him in frustration and he felt upset but did not give up the hard work and regular training which eventually helped him to perform in the national domestic tournaments and finally brought him back in the World Cup.

“If we bowl with good line and length in the last overs of a match and try to get wickets to curtail runs , it will be beneficial for our team,” he said adding “I have my own set target as far as my performance is concerned in the World Cup.”

Wahab said Pak team needs to exhibit a better brand of cricket in the World Cup and every player has a assigned job to justify his place in the team and every match of the mega event is challenging and all the teams are equally good and tough.

“Considering any opponent weaker will not be fair thought we have to demonstrate our best ability in every match and team efforts and hunger to victory are the key to success in the World Cup,” he asserted.

He said a lot is expected from Pak team in the World Cup and such an expectation puts extra pressure on the team and players and team needs to show aggression to outplay its rivals.

“I have yet to prove to teams coach Micky Arthur that I am a match winning bowler, for achieving this task I will be doing my best to prove this in the World Cup that what said (criticism) was not true about me,” he said.