Imad Wasim faces hurdles on path back to International cricket

Imad Wasim announced retirement from international cricket in November last year

Imad Wasim faces hurdles on path back to International cricket PHOTO: FILE

All-rounder Imad Wasim faces several obstacles in his return to international cricket after announcing retirement in November last year. His decision was influenced by difficulties in obtaining NOCs for overseas leagues. 

The 35-year-old all-rounder played his last T20 International for Pakistan against New Zealand in Rawalpindi last year. However, Imad has repeatedly mentioned that the decision is not final, and he will return to international cricket whenever the country needs him. 

Imad showcased outstanding performance in the recent HBL PSL 9. He scored 126 runs as well as took 12 wickets and played an instrumental role in Islamabad United's journey to the PSL title. This is why he has garnered support for his comeback from former cricketers and fans. 

According to sources, the Chief Selector, Wahab Riaz, has not contacted Imad yet, however an official from the PCB has inquired about his future plans. Some people in the board believe that now is the time to give opportunities to new players. Even if Imad is brought back, he may not play for an extended period. However, captain Shaheen Afridi and others consider him suitable for the team. 

According to sources, initially, someone told the chairman that Imad had refused national team representation, but later it was clarified that it was not the case. Some circles in the board also suggest that Imad's relationship with Babar Azam is not good. It is necessary to sit them both down together to resolve any conflicts. 

On the other hand, Imad is not willing to reconsider his retirement until his concerns are addressed. He is concerned that if he is brought back into the team for one series and then sidelined again, it will create further issues. He also desires a better category in the central contract. 

Furthermore, Imad has contracts with several foreign leagues, and he is willing to discuss them as well. However, so far, he has not received any formal invitation for a meeting from the PCB. 

It is worth noting that the Pakistan cricket team is about to start a fitness camp in Kakul. The team is also set to participate in a series against New Zealand next month. 

Speaking to Cricket Pakistan, former captain Rashid Latif said that Imad should definitely return to international cricket. 

"I also announced my retirement in anger, so I know in what condition Imad might have made this decision. In Imad's absence, Pakistan tried several all-rounders, including Mohammad Nawaz, but none of them performed. The World Cup is coming up in the West Indies, and during the Caribbean League, Imad has always performed well on those pitches. He can prove successful once again this time. He is a utility player and can contribute significantly to the team," Rashid said.