Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq slammed pacers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz for their absence from the country’s Test cricket team. On Wednesday, Misbah adressed the pre-match press conference ahead of the second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Karachi. When asked if Amir and Wahab could have helped the current Pakistan side in the longest format of the game, Misbah said it’s not right for the players to prioritise T20 leagues over country.
Amir had retired from Tests in July this year to prolong his white-ball career. The left-arm pacer, who is a part of Pakistan’528674s limited-over squads, has been plying his trade in various T20 leagues around the world after quitting the longest format. Riaz, on the other hand, has opted for an indefinite break from Tests to play white-ball cricket.
“You invest so much on these players, and when preference should be given to the country and you go elsewhere, it’s not the right thing to do,” said Misbah as he expressed his disappointment over Amir and Riaz’s decision.
Pakistan were expecting to see their fortunes get revived under Azahar Ali after Sarfaraz Ahmed was sacked as captain but the team has looked far from best in whites so far. Pakistan were thrashed 2-0 by Australia in the recently-concluded series and their bowlers managed to pick only 6 wickets against Sri Lanka in the rain-curtailed first Test in Rawalpindi which ended in a draw.
Pakistan clearly missed the presence of senior pacers Amir and Riaz as youngsters like Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi are yet to find their feet in Test cricket. Misbah, who is also the chief selector of Pakistan, said Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are looking to introduce a policy in future which can curtail the problem of players chosing formats and prioritising other leagues over the national team.
“We are thinking hard on these lines, and soon we will make a policy on this (because) it can be a problem for Pakistan in the future,” he said. “You spend so much on them, and the first availability should be for Pakistan,” he said.