Following the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, former Pakistan speedster Wahab Riaz has been appointed as the chief selector for the Pakistan men’s national team. He succeeds Inzamam-ul-Haq, who stepped down during the tournament.
Post-World Cup Reshuffle in Pakistan Cricket
In the wake of a less than satisfactory World Cup campaign, Pakistan has initiated a series of changes in its cricketing structure. Babar Azam relinquished his captaincy across all formats, with Shan Masood and Shaheen Afridi stepping in as Test and T20I captains respectively.
Despite a valiant effort, Pakistan couldn’t secure a spot in the semi-finals, finishing fifth in the table with just four victories out of nine matches.
Personnel Changes and New Appointments
Further changes include the departure of Morne Morkel, who served as the bowling coach on a six-month contract. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has reassigned the World Cup coaching staff to roles within the National Cricket Academy.
Mohammad Hafeez has been appointed as the Team Director. Alongside newly-appointed chief selector Wahab Riaz, their immediate challenge is to prepare the team for a three-match Test series in Australia starting 14 December, followed by a five-match T20I series against New Zealand.
Wahab Riaz on His New Role
Expressing his gratitude for the new role, Wahab Riaz stated, “I am honoured to assume the role of chairperson for the national men’s selection committee and I extend my gratitude to Chairman PCB Management Committee, Mr Zaka Ashraf, for entrusting me with this responsibility. The decision to involve former players in cricketing matters is commendable and I am willing to work for the betterment of Pakistan cricket.”
He acknowledged the challenges of leading a selection committee, particularly with the upcoming Australia tour and the T20I series against New Zealand. These matches are crucial in building a strong team for the ICC T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies in June next year.
Riaz also emphasized his commitment to prioritizing top performers in domestic cricket and ensuring well-rounded squads. He concluded, “I will always be available to the players for feedback and advice.”