Akhtar praises Wahab’s decision to return to red-ball cricket

Lahore:¬†Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has heaped praise on fast-bowler Wahab Riaz who has made himself available for the team’s tour of England. Pakistan are scheduled to play three Tests and and as many T20Is in England after the conclusion of Windies tour.

In September last year, Wahab took an indefinite break from first-class cricket to focus on limited-overs formats. However, he was recently named in the 29-member Pakistan squad (combined Tests and T20Is) for their tour of England.

Akhtar on Tuesday took to social media to praise Wahab and wrote on Twitter: “Really appreciate your decision Wahab Riaz to make yourself available for Test cricket. Keeping Pakistan first. You will do well in English conditions InshAllah.”

Wahab took note of Akhtar’s post and replied: “Means a lot coming from you chief.”

The 34-year-old last made a Test appearance against Australia in October 2018. Having made his Test debut in 2010, Riaz has scalped 83 wickets in 27 matches so far in the longest format.

Following his inclusion in the team, Wahab had expressed his happiness and revealed that when he was asked about his availability for the Test series, he answered in affirmative without thinking twice.

“I am very excited to be a part of this England tour,” Wahab said in a video conference as per ESPNcricinfo. “As you know this tour is being carried on in very unusual circumstances.

“I was called by the PCB to enquire if I am available to play Test cricket if required on a replacement basis. I straightaway said yes because my priority ultimately is to play for Pakistan.”