Major surgery? PCB confirms sacking Wahab Riaz, Abdul Razzaq

Former cricketers and PCB’s selection committee members Wahab Riaz (left) and Abdul Razzaq. —  PCB/File
  • Sources say PCB had lost confidence over former cricketers.
  • Board had reorganised selection committee in March last year.
  • PCB says it will provide update on committee’s composition.

The Pakistan Cricket Board Wednesday confirmed axing former cricketers Wahab Riaz and Abdul Razzaq from the board’s selection committee following the team’s dismal performance in the T20 World Cup 2024.

“The PCB today confirmed that it has notified Abdul Razzaq and Wahab Riaz that their services will no longer be required in the national selection committee setup,” read the board’s press release.

The confirmation comes a day after Geo News, citing sources, reported that the board had removed the ex-cricketers from the selection committee after losing confidence in them due to their support for players who failed in the mega-event.

The former cricketers’ ouster comes as the PCB had reorganised the men’s national selection committee, having equal powers in March earlier this year in order to bring more transparency in the process, but the team selected by the panel failed to deliver in all the series since then.

Riaz was a member of the men’s selection committee, whereas Razzaq was part of the selection committees for both men’s and women’s teams.

However, owing to the men’s team’s poor performance and early exit in the T20 World Cup, along with the women’s team’s back-to-back losses in bilateral series against England and West Indies.

Their influence was significant in the selection of the T20 World Cup squad and they showed more support to players who did not perform well. Their opinions had not been taken into account for some time now as well, the sources added.

However, sources say that the PCB has retained Mohammad Yousuf, Asad Shafiq and Bilal Afzal in the seven-member panel which also includes the captain and head coach.

The board has said that it will provide further updates on the selection committee’s composition in due course.

With the men’s team and the board being subjected to severe criticism by both fans and the cricketing fraternity following the T20 World Cup fiasco, PCB chairman met white-ball coach Gary Kirsten and red-ball coach Jason Gillespie to discuss important matters related to the team.

The same day, he also held a meeting with more than two dozen former and current players to discuss the future of cricket in the country wherein the top official revealed a presentation titled “Pathway to Pakistan Cricket” which shed light on the steps a cricketer goes through to make it to the national team.

The PCB chief has already hinted at a “major surgery” and has been holding consultations with various stakeholders with regard to key decisions for Pakistan cricket that are likely expected in the coming days.

However, uncertainty looms regarding the team’s leadership as Naqvi has said that no decision taken so far related to Babar Azam and his future as the national side’s captain.

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