Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) newly-appointed chief selector Wahab Riaz criticised Haris Rauf during the squad announcement of Pakistan for the three-match Test tour of Australia starting December 14 in Perth. Wahab claimed that Rauf pulled out at the last moment and made himself unavailable for the tour after giving his “consent to play Test cricket for Pakistan.”
Wahab mentioned that Mohammad Hafeez had also spoken to Rauf and assured him that he would not be put under any sort of pressure to perform but despite the assurance the right-arm tearaway fast bowler backed out citing workload issues.
“We spoke to Haris Rauf for this tour,” Wahab said. “When we spoke to him two days ago, he gave his consent to play Test cricket for Pakistan. But last night he changed his mind, and now he doesn’t want to be part of this Test series. I’m revealing this because we should be honest with officials, team-mates, and the public. We spoke to Haris and he was worried about his body and fitness, as well as his workload. Mohammad Hafeez and I sat with him and tried to facilitate him in every way. We told him even if he didn’t perform well there, we would accept it,” said Wahab during the press conference.
“Our physio spoke to him and said he wouldn’t expect any issue or injury. Of course there’s fatigue, but we were sure we could have managed that very well. But he pulled out at the last moment and he made himself unavailable. I think this will hurt Pakistan cricket,” Wahab added.
Wahab also claimed that the selection committee wasn’t demanding “more than 10-12 overs a day” from Rauf but still, the 30-year-old pacer didn’t listen to the selection committee or Mohammad Hafeez, who is the newly-appointed team director and will serve as the head coach during the Australia series and New Zealand series.
“We view Haris Rauf as an impact bowler. We weren’t demanding more than 10-12 overs a day. The only issue is when you say you’re available for Pakistan, especially at a time when our three main high-pace bowlers, who can bowl over 140 [kph] other than Haris are unavailable. At some point, you need to sacrifice to play for your country. Haris was committed to us, and pulled out after two days,” Wahab concluded.