Pakistan pacer Wahab Riaz joins Derbyshire for T20 blast
Pakistan’s left-arm fast bowler Wahab Riaz has signed up with English County side Derbyshire in his bid to make a comeback to the national team.
According ESPNCricinfo, Riaz will be playing the Vitality T20 Blast for Derbyshire, hoping to bolster his chances for a recall to the Pakistan cricket team.
The 32-year-old left-arm bowler who last played for Pakistan in October 2017, has been criticised by their head coach Mickey Arthur over fitness as well as form-related issues.
Apart from being excluded from the Pakistan training camp for the upcoming two-Test series in England and one-off Test in Ireland, Arthur had remarked that Riaz had ‘not won us a game in two years’.
Underlining the importance of high performance culture in the Pakistan cricket team, Arthur has said, “I expect players that have been around for a long time to be winning us games and setting standards. The guys need to push themselves and get out of their comfort zones.”
“I cannot fault Wahab when he has a ball in his hand but his work ethic around training is something [that] needs to be looked at. I am changing the culture in this Pakistan environment and I am not interested in players doing just the bare minimum.”
Despite the criticism, Derbyshire are confident about their signing. Riaz has had a surgery for a sinus problem, and is expected to be available for a huge part of Derbyshire’s fixtures before leaving for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Riaz had finished as the joint highest wicket-taker alongside Faheem Ashraf in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), with 18 wickets for Peshawar Zalmi.