Haris Rauf pulls out of Australia tour at last moment

Chief selector Wahab Riaz announced an 18-member Pakistan Test squad for the tour to Australia comprising three matches scheduled from 14 December 2023 to 7 January 2024 on Monday

Haris Rauf pulls out of Australia tour at last moment PHOTO: PCB

Chief Selector Wahab Riaz unveiled the 18-member Pakistan Test squad for the upcoming tour to Australia, marking his first assignment since assuming the role of the head of the national men’s selection committee last week. The highly anticipated three-match series is scheduled to take place from December 14, 2023, to January 7, 2024.

However, the squad has raised eyebrows as it does not feature the dynamic pace bowler Haris Rauf.

Wahab addressed this omission in a press conference, shedding light on Rauf's decision to withdraw from the tour due to concerns over workload management.

Wahab emphasized Rauf's role as an impact player and expressed the need to utilize his talents in Test cricket. He stated that the management had initially reached an agreement with Rauf, expecting him to bowl 10 to 12 overs per day, however, Rauf didn’t agree.

“Haris Rauf was initially picked for the tour but he refused to partake in it, citing workload concerns. We spoke to Haris about this tour two days ago, and he gave his consent to playing Tests for Pakistan. However, he changed his mind last night and didn't want to be a part of this Australia Test series,” Wahab claimed.

“We had planned to utilise Haris Rauf as an impact bowler in our Test plans, after discussions with the captain and team director. We needed him to bowl 10-15 overs, which he has bowled in ODIs too. We had involved all relevant stakeholders in our discussions and it was made clear that there would not be any added threat of injury if he bowls as per our plans. However, Haris was concerned about his workload and opted to back out of the series,” he added.

Rauf last played Test match for Pakistan against England in December, 2022 in England.

Pakistan squad for Australia Tests: Shan Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi

Australia tour schedule:

Four-day match: PM’s XI vs Pakistan – December 6-9: Manuka Oval, Canberra

1st Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 14-18: Perth Stadium

2nd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 26-30: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

3rd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – January 3-7: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)