Sunday, December 10, 2023
Web Desk

What advice does Wasim Akram have for Haris Rauf?

Haris Rauf excused himself from playing for Pakistan in their Test series against Australia

Web Desk
Pakistan former captain Wasim Akram (left) and pacer Haris Rauf. — ICC/File
Pakistan former captain Wasim Akram (left) and pacer Haris Rauf. — ICC/File

Wasim Akram, Pakistan's former captain and fast bowler, has shared some words of advice for young pacer Haris Rauf if he wants to be remembered as a "great" cricketer in the game's history.

Akram said that the 30-year-old athlete must play Test cricket to solidify his legacy and be remembered as one of the best players.

The veteran cricketer's remarks came after Rauf excused himself from playing for Pakistan in the Test series against Australia, packing his bags to leave for the Big Bash League (BBL) instead.

The white-ball speedster's reason for withdrawing from the Test series stemmed from his concerns about workload and fitness.

Meanwhile, Pakistan are set to engage in three Test matches in Australia beginning in mid-December.

The fast bowler has previously voiced worries about his workload and fitness, although the Pakistan team's physio had cleared him of any injury concerns.

Speaking to reporters at Kayo Sports’ Summer of Cricket launch event on December 8, Akram mentioned that it was Rauf’s choice if he preferred to focus on white-ball cricket. However, he added that playing Test cricket is crucial to establishing a lasting legacy in the game.

“That’s his decision,” Akram said. “He’s a contracted player, so there’s a lot of controversies back home. There are some white-ball specialist cricketers in this day and age, if he thinks he’s not there as yet, then that’s his call.

“Test is a big boy’s game at the end of the day. You’ve got to bowl eight-over spells. In T20 you bowl four overs and stand at fine leg. Piece of cake. Test cricket is a long race, and if you want to be remembered as a great of the game, that’s where Test cricket comes in.”

Rauf has participated in just one Test match to date, facing England in 2022. His experience in first-class cricket comprises merely nine matches, yet he boasts a track record of over 200 white-ball games across various formats. His upcoming appearance will be in the BBL, representing Melbourne Stars.

Earlier this week, Rauf submitted his reply to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after the 30-year-old received show cause notice.

As per the notice, centrally contracted players should be unconditionally available for the national team but Rauf had indicated unavailability for the three matches.

Rauf cited the reason for withdrawal as not having enough red-ball practice on the back.

It must be noted that newly-appointed Chief Selector Wahab Riaz held a press conference on November 20 where he announced an 18-man squad for the Australia Test tour and unleashed criticism towards fast-bowler Rauf for refusing to play the longer format.

Riaz had said Rauf was ready to feature in the Australia series but he changed his mind on Sunday night (November 19).

In a bid to balance their participation and national commitments, his NOC has been allocated within a specific timeframe. He has been cleared to participate in Australia's premier tournament between December 7 and December 28.