Wahab Riaz

Wahab Riaz


About Wahab Riaz

Wahab Riaz, a left-arm pace bowler known for his sheer speed, has grappled with consistency issues since his international debut in early 2008. An unforgettable moment in his one-day international career occurred during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 when he delivered a stellar performance by taking 5-46 against India in the semi-finals, which remains one of his best in an ODI. In recent times, he has become a more consistent presence in the one-day team and aims to leave a lasting impact with his bowling in the 2015 World Cup. Riaz also made a comeback to the Test team in 2014, marking his return after a three-year hiatus, as he was named in the squad to face Sri Lanka in August.
Profile Details
Full Name Wahab Riaz
Born June 28, 1985, Lahore, Punjab
Country Pakistan
Role Bowler
Batting Style Right Handed Bat
Bowling Style Left-arm fast

Wahab Riaz Career Statistics

Career Batting Stats

Format Matches (M) Innings (Inn) Not Outs (NO) Runs (R) High Score (HS) Average (Avg.) Balls Faced (BF) Strike Rate (SR) Hundreds (H) Fifties (50x) Fours (4s) Sixes (6s)

Career Bowling Stats

Format Matches (M) Innings (Inn) Balls (B) Runs (R) Wickets (W) BBM Average (Avg.) Economy (Econ.) Strike Rate (SR) 5W 10W
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Wahab Riaz

Wahab Riaz - Wahab  Riaz - 720

Wahab Riaz, a name synonymous with speed and agility, emerged as a cricketing sensation. Born on June 28, 1985, he took the cricket world by storm with his left-arm fast bowling. Not just a bowler, Riaz also excelled as a right-handed batsman.

On November 17, 2023, Riaz’s expertise earned him a pivotal role. He became the chief selector for Pakistan’s national cricket team.

Additionally, he advises Punjab’s chief minister on sports and youth affairs. This role is part of the caretaker government led by Mohsin Raza Naqvi.

Riaz’s bowling was a spectacle, often clocking around 90 mph. Impressively, he once reached a blazing speed of 96 miles per hour. His performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 brought him global acclaim.

Key Takeaways

  • Versatile Role in Government and Cricket: Wahab Riaz held significant roles both as a cricket player and in the governmental sector, blending his sports knowledge with public service.
  • Impressive Debut: He made a strong impact in his T20I and Test debuts, showcasing his skill as a fast bowler and batsman.
  • World Cup Achievements: Riaz's performances in the 2015 and 2019 ICC Cricket World Cups were particularly notable, earning him global recognition.
  • Domestic and Franchise Success: He achieved success in domestic cricket and various T20 franchises worldwide, including becoming the first Pakistani to take 400 T20 wickets.
  • Leadership in PSL: As a key player for Peshawar Zalmi, Riaz led the team to victory and emerged as a top wicket-taker in the Pakistan Super League.
  • Educational and Personal Background: He was educated at Aitchison College, Lahore, and comes from a prominent Punjabi family.
  • Transition to Public Service: His appointment as the Sports Minister and later as an advisor in the Punjab government marked a significant transition from sports to public service.

Early Life & Family: Wahab Riaz’s Beginnings

Wahab Riaz

Wahab Riaz, born into the proud Punjabi Gujjar family, entered the world on June 28, 1985. His father, Muhammad Sikandar Riaz Kasana, was a well-known businessman.

Amidst Lahore’s rich heritage, Riaz embarked on his educational journey at Aitchison College, a prestigious institution. He later tied the knot with Zainab Chaudhary. Together, they welcomed three children.

Their family grew with the birth of Eshal in 2015, Hoorain in 2020, and their youngest, Sikandar, in 2023. Significantly, Riaz named his son after his late father, continuing a legacy of strength and resilience.

Cricket Career: Wahab Riaz’s T20I Debut

Wahab Riaz

Wahab Riaz burst onto the international scene in a T20I tri-series, including India and Bangladesh. In his debut against Bangladesh, Riaz clinched 3 wickets for 22 runs over 7 overs. Against India, he showcased his skills with two more wickets, despite conceding 85 runs.

Test Triumphs: Wahab’s Memorable Debut

Riaz’s Test debut in 2010 against England marked a significant milestone. He impressed with a 5/63 haul in England’s first innings. Batting at number three, Riaz contributed a solid 27 runs.

Riaz continued his Test journey against South Africa in 2010, post four ODIs. In the first Test, he dismissed notable players like Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla. Unfortunately, a side strain curtailed his participation in the series.

World Cup Wonders: Wahab’s Stellar Performance

Wahab Riaz

Come March 2011, Riaz shone in Pakistan’s World Cup campaign. His 5-wicket haul against India in the semi-finals was a highlight. Riaz replaced Shoaib Akhtar, adding a fresh edge to the team.

Riaz joined Pakistan’s West Indies tour, participating in T20I and ODIs. He grabbed two wickets in the T20I and emerged as the leading wicket-taker in ODIs. Coach Waqar Younis labeled his performance as “average” in a PCB report.

County Cricket: Wahab’s New Avenue

Post the Ireland tour, Riaz signed with Kent for county cricket. His impactful debut featured taking Chris Cooke’s wicket and a match-winning 32 not out.

Riaz’s hat-trick against Gloucestershire was a T20 highlight, marking a first for him in the format.

In August, PCB awarded Riaz a category B central contract. He was rested for the Zimbabwe tour, aiming to introduce new talents.

Despite recall for the Sri Lanka series, Riaz didn’t play and was later dropped from the ODI squad.

Riaz faced a tough time on 30 August 2016, conceding 110 runs in 10 overs. This performance became the second-worst in ODI history.

Domestic Dominance: Wahab’s Continued Success

Wahab Riaz

Riaz was named in Punjab’s squad for the 2018 Pakistan Cup. By 2019, he led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s squad in the same tournament. His ten dismissals made him the joint-leading wicket-taker.

In June 2020, Riaz was named for Pakistan’s England tour amid COVID-19. However, he tested positive for the virus on 23 June. By July, he was shortlisted for the Test squad.

Wahab Riaz retired from international cricket in August 2023, marking the end of an illustrious career.

Wahab Riaz’s 2015 World Cup Journey

In January 2015, Wahab Riaz leapt into Pakistan’s squad for the Cricket World Cup. His inclusion came after the Pakistan Cricket Board announced their final fifteen.

Riaz made an immediate impact, claiming one wicket each against India and West Indies. His stellar performance against Zimbabwe, scoring 54 not out and taking four wickets, earned him the man of the match.

Versus UAE, Riaz added two more wickets to his tally. Continuing his remarkable form, he snagged three wickets against South Africa. In Pakistan’s final group game against Ireland, he replicated this feat.

Riaz’s highlight came in the quarterfinal against Australia, where he dismissed skipper Michael Clarke and engaged in a memorable exchange with Shane Watson.

However, this led to a fine from the ICC. Cricket legends, including Michael Clarke and Kevin Pietersen, lauded Riaz’s spell as one of the best.

His Twitter trend soared, and Brian Lara’s enthusiastic tweet about meeting Riaz became a highlight of the tournament.

2019 World Cup: Wahab Riaz’s Consistent Performance

Wahab Riaz

Fast forward to May 2019, Wahab Riaz was a vital part of Pakistan’s World Cup team. His consistent performance throughout the tournament resulted in 11 wickets across eight games.

He achieved an impressive economy rate of six runs per over. Notably, Riaz surpassed Imran Khan’s tally, becoming Pakistan’s second-highest wicket-taker in World Cup history.

T20 Mastery: Wahab Riaz’s Prolific Franchise Career

Wahab Riaz’s T20 career took off as a Platinum category player in the 2016 Pakistan Super League. Snatched up by Peshawar Zalmi for $140,000, he quickly made his mark.

In a memorable match against Quetta Gladiators, a heated moment with batsman Ahmed Shehzad resulted in fines and warnings for both.

Riaz’s prowess continued, leading Peshawar Zalmi to victory in 2017 and becoming the top wicket-taker.

His T20 journey expanded globally, joining teams in Afghanistan, Canada, South Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Caribbean. In 2022, he was bought by the Northern Superchargers in England.

Cementing his legacy, Riaz became the first Pakistani bowler to take 400 T20 wickets while playing for the Khulna Tigers in the Bangladesh Premier League.

Wahab Riaz: A New Chapter in Sports Leadership

Wahab Riaz

In January 2023, Wahab Riaz tackled a new challenge as the appointed Sports Minister in Mohsin Raza Naqvi’s interim Punjab government. Unfortunately, due to a packed schedule, his oath-taking was postponed.

Subsequently, on March 22, 2023, his journey in public service took a turn. He accepted the role of Advisor to the Chief Minister of Punjab, focusing on sports and youth affairs.

This position marked a significant step in Riaz’s career, blending his sports expertise with governmental responsibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Wahab Riaz's role in the Punjab government?

In January 2023, Wahab Riaz was appointed as the Sports Minister in Mohsin Raza Naqvi’s interim Punjab government. However, due to scheduling conflicts, he couldn’t take his oath. On March 22, 2023, he became the Advisor to the Chief Minister of Punjab for sports and youth affairs.

What are some highlights from Wahab Riaz's cricket career?

Wahab Riaz’s cricket career is marked by several highlights. He debuted in T20I against Bangladesh and Test cricket against England with notable performances. In the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, he gained global acclaim, especially for his 5-wicket haul against India. He also played a vital role in Pakistan’s 2019 World Cup team and led Peshawar Zalmi to victory in the 2017 Pakistan Super League.

When did Wahab Riaz retire from international cricket?

Wahab Riaz announced his retirement from international cricket in August 2023, marking the end of an illustrious career that spanned several years and included numerous memorable performances.

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