Peshawar Zalmi’s Wahab Riaz admits the defending champions have been poor this season as they face the very real possibility of missing out on a play-off spot after finishing in the top two in both previous Pakistan Super League (PSL) seasons.
“We are the defending champions and want to qualify for the finals but the situation seems to be a bit tough,” he said, as quoted by PakPassion. “We haven’t played well as a team and if we don’t qualify then I would say that we didn’t deserve to do so as our cricket wasn’t up to the mark”
The left-arm pacer discussed the chance the PSL affords to young players but added that something similar should be the case with all domestic competitions in Pakistan.
“We talk a lot about young players but they don’t get the required exposure in domestic cricket. The jump to PSL from domestic cricket is a big one since you now play with international players,” he said. “Players like Shadab khan, Rumman Raees and Hasan Ali played in the PSL and gained experience from it. We have some good players in the domestic circuit as well but they lack confidence”
The express pacer has found himself out of the side since he was ruled out of the Champions Trophy due to injury and feels he still has a lot to offer.
“I am disappointed about not being picked for the international side for the past couple of tours,” he said. “I don’t think my performances in T20Is have been too bad. I haven’t been up to the mark in ODIs but I am trying to fix that as well.”
However, the Lahore-born refused to let rejection from the national side keep him down. “If the national team decides that they don’t need me and will go to the World Cup without me then that is fine,” he said. “Cricket is a team game. Everyone has good days and bad days out there on the field.”
At 32, Wahab is on the wrong end of 30 but he feels he still has a lot to offer. “I believe that if you maintain your fitness then you can always play for Pakistan, no matter how old you are,” he said. “I wanted to show in this tournament that I’m a fast-bowler and my on-field aggression should show it. Thankfully I have done well and have had great support from people like [Pakistan bowling coach] Azhar Mahmood.”