Wahab Riaz appointed new 'chief selector' following Pakistan's World Cup fiasco

PCB is going through a major reshuffle following the team's early exit from ICC Men's World Cup 2023

Sohail Imran
Pakistans former international cricketer Wahab Riaz. — AFP/File
Pakistan's former international cricketer Wahab Riaz. — AFP/File

LAHORE: Amid an ongoing major reshuffle, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appointed former international cricketer and speedster Wahab Riaz as the new chief selector of the national men’s selection committee.

The former left-arm pacer's appointment as the chief selector comes as the post had been vacant following former skipper Inzamam ul Haq's resignation on October 30 after "conflict of interest" allegations were levelled against him.

The board has formed a five-member committee after it was revealed that Inzamam was a partner in Yazoo International Ltd — a players' management company owned by Talha Rehmani which represents Pakistan's leading cricketers, including Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Riaz's — who represented Pakistan in 27 Tests, 90 ODIs and 36 T20Is — first assignment will be selecting the team for a challenging Australia tour for a three-match Test series against the Kangaroos scheduled to commence on December 14 followed by the five-match T20I series against New Zealand from 12 to 21 January in New Zealand, the statement from the PCB said.

Expressing his views on his appointment as chief selector, the left-arm fast bowler expressed gratitude to PCB Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf and said: "I am honoured to assume the role of chairperson for the national men's selection committee."

"The decision to involve former players in cricketing matters is commendable and I am willing to work for the betterment of Pakistan cricket," he added.

He also highlighted the significance of the Australia tour that is part of the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle and a T20I series against New Zealand that will play a vital role in the team's preparation for the T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in USA and West Indies in June next year.

Riaz also said that he and the newly-appointed Director of cricket Mohammad Hafeez will "work closely for the success of Pakistan cricket" with his focus being on the players who perform well in domestic cricket to ensure a "well-rounded squad".

The development comes as part of a major reshuffle in the team's leadership, coaching and management staff following the team's early exit from the World Cup — with the Green Shirts failing to qualify for the semis.

The PCB — after accepting Babar Azam's resignation as the team's skipper in all three formats on November 15 — has announced new captains for the T20 and red-ball formats.

Shan Masood will lead the national side in Test matches, whereas Shaheen Shah Afridi will be the team's skipper for the 20-over format.

The board, replacing Mickey Arthur, has also appointed former cricketer Hafeez as the "Director Pakistan men’s cricket team".

Furthermore, changes have been made to the portfolio of the coaching staff as well will coaches being directed to continue to work in the National Cricket Academy.