“No rest for Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan”: Wahab Riaz

“No rest for Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan”: Wahab Riaz

Pakistan Chief Selector Wahab Riaz has dispelled concerns of exclusion for Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan in the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand. Amidst media reports suggesting their potential rest after Pakistan’s loss in the opening Test at Perth, both players contacted Riaz seeking clarification.

Riaz assured Babar and Rizwan that any decision regarding rest for future games or series would involve consultation with them, considering their perspectives before reaching a final verdict. He affirmed their crucial role in the team and highlighted their selection for the five-match T20I series as confirmation of their significance.

A source close to the players revealed that Riaz initially suggested resting the duo for a few matches in New Zealand but later reconsidered the decision after discussions with other selectors and team management.

“Babar and Rizwan clarified to the chief selector that they never requested any rest, stating they were in good form. They questioned why media reports suggested selectors planning to rest them,” the source said.

“Wahab explained he initially proposed the rest idea along with other selectors and team management. However, they all persuaded him that the New Zealand series was crucial and couldn’t afford to go without two senior players in different conditions,” he added.

Emphasizing their crucial role, Riaz confirmed that both players remain the backbone of the Pakistan team, and their selection for the upcoming T20I series affirms this.

Addressing concerns about Babar feeling pressure after stepping down as captain from all three formats post the World Cup in India, Riaz dismissed any conspiracy against him.

“The star batsman is worried about rumors suggesting selectors and the cricket board aimed to bench him to test other players in upcoming white-ball matches before the T20 World Cup in the West Indies (and USA) next year. However, the chief selector reassured Babar that there was no conspiracy against him, and everyone had complete faith in his abilities,” he concluded.

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