Fast bowler Wahab Riaz on Tuesday attributed his inclusion in Pakistan’s World Cup squad to his experience of playing Test cricket in England, despite not being a part of their ODI squad in the last couple of years.
Wahab, 33, said it is a dream come true to get a chance to play his third successive World Cup.
“It is a responsibility now because I have been recalled because of my experience. I have not played too many ODIs in England but playing in Test matches there has helped me a lot and I know the conditions and pitches well now,” Wahab told reporters in Lahore.
Wahab and another experienced left-arm pacer Mohammad Aamir won an unexpected call to the national team for the World Cup on Monday with chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq admitting that the decision was taken considering Pakistan’s poor performance in the one-day series against England in England recently.
“I am confident that I can live up to the expectations and do the job given to me. I have become a mentally and physically stronger bowler now after playing a lot of domestic cricket and I hope that my team can benefit from my experience in the mega-event,” he said.
While Aamir was with the team in England, though he did not play, Wahab was not even named in the 23-man provisional for the tournament.
Wahab has been ignored by the national selectors since he last appeared in the match against India during the 2017 Champions Trophy when he went for 87 runs without a wicket and had to limp off with an injury.
“I had a dream a few days back that Inzamam-ul-Haq called me up and told me about my selection with the warning that this is your last chance. The dream has come true and I very happy because my late father always wanted me to play in the maximum number of World Cups for my country,” he said.
Wahab said he was looking forward to the World Cup as the pitches were expected to be dry in England and that would help him reverse swing the ball.
He felt Pakistan were whitewashed in the recent ODI series against England because of poor fielding.
“Fielders need to support their bowlers especially on pitches where conditions favour the batsmen,” he added.