Left-arm fast-bowler Wahab Riaz announced his retirement from international cricket on Wednesday.
“Stepping off the international pitch, after an incredible journey, I’ve decided to retire from international cricket,” Wahab — who is also a sports adviser for the Punjab caretaker government — said on social media platform X (formerly Twitter).
He thanked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), his family, coaches, mentors, teammates, fans and “everyone who supported me”.
“Exciting times ahead in the world of franchise cricket,” he said.
According to ESPNcricinfo, Wahab played 27 Tests, 91 ODIs and 36 T20Is for Pakistan and last turned out in national colours back in 2020.
He picked up 83 wickets in Test cricket at an average of 34.50, 120 in ODIs at 34.30, while in T20Is, he had 34 wickets at 28.55. He was most recently part of Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League 2023.
ESPNcricinfo also quoted a press statement issued by Wahab as saying, “I have been speaking about my retirement plans past two years, that 2023 is my target to retire from International cricket, and I feel comfortable now more than ever that I have served my country and national team to the best I could have.”
He said it was an “honour and a privilege” to represent Pakistan on the international stage.
“As I bid farewell to this chapter, I am thrilled to embark on a new adventure in franchise cricket, where I hope to entertain and inspire audiences while competing against some of the best talents in the world,” he said.
Later in the day, Wahab also addressed a press conference in Lahore where he was asked about the possibility of becoming a coach in the future.
He said that the decision would ultimately lie with the PCB but that he would “love” to coach younger players. He said that if an opportunity presented itself in Pakistan or abroad, he would go for it as he had learnt a lot over his career which he would like to “transfer” to younger players.
He also asserted that his decision to retire from international cricket was not “emotional” but was rooted in “reality”.
“I believe in reality. The kind of bowlers the Pakistan team has, I think it would be unfair for me to play in the team. So this is not an emotional decision,” he said.