Wahab Riaz should be part of 2019 World Cup squad: Kamran Akmal

Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman feels that pacer will do well at the mega event

Wahab Riaz should be part of 2019 World Cup squad: Kamran Akmal PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal believes that pacer Wahab Riaz should be part of Men in Green’s World Cup 2019 squad.

 While speaking in an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, Akmal said that he Riaz’s white ball bowling credentials will come in handy during the mega event in England and Wales.  

“I think we have a good bowling attack but I feel we need a bowler like Wahab Riaz in the squad because he has been bowling exceedingly well with the white ball from the past two to three years,” said Akmal.

He added that the selectors should persist with the same set of players that have been with the squad since the 2018 Asia Cup.

“Honestly speaking World Cup is just around the corner and we should stick with the bunch of players who have been playing since the Asia Cup,” he said. “The rest is up to the selectors and what they decide regarding team combination.”

Akmal was also optimistic about team’s chances at the mega event bearing in mind their track record in England.

“I hope that we can form a good combination ahead of the World Cup,” he said. “We have a good track record, when it comes to major events, in England which is why I’m optimistic about our chances.”

The 37-year-old also believes that including pacer Mohammad Abbas in the World Cup squad would not be ideal.

“I think it would be unfair to include Abbas in the World Cup squad because he does not have much experience of playing in limited-over formats,” he said. “We should not make a habit of including players who do well in Test cricket in the shorter formats squad as well.”

Akmal was also not concerned with the fact that Pakistan side was led by their wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed, when asked about whether this makes his inclusion in the side difficult. 

“I don’t think in that manner because my entire focus is on performing well on the field,” he said. “Sarfraz is a good captain and wicketkeeper which is why he is rightfully part of the team.”

While sharing his thoughts about the upcoming edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) and the performance of Peshawar Zalmi, Akmal said: “We are looking forward to doing well just like the previous two seasons. We have a nice squad with experienced players like Misbahul Haq and a passionate captain in Darren Sammy.”