Wahab Riaz hopeful about the revival of departmental cricket

'Many cricketers have benefited from departmental cricket. I also polished my skills while playing in that system,' says Wahab

April 15, 2022
Wahab Riaz can be seen celebrating after taking a wicket for Pakistan during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 match.  — Twitter  

LAHORE: Left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz laid importance on the revival of departmental cricket, besides, he also believes that Ramiz Raja's days as the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) Chairman looks apparently over, as he could soon be replaced by someone like Najam Sethi — the former PCB chairman, The News reported. 

He also hoped for the revival of departmental cricket, which was banished under the prime ministership of Imran Khan, and left thousands of players and officials jobless — as a result. 

According to reports Sethi is likely to replace Raja due to the former’s close ties with Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif — who is also the PCB's Patron-in-Chief.

Riaz, who last played for Pakistan in December 2020, is also confident about making a comeback to the national side.

"I will continue to put in the hard yards and hope that I will get the opportunity to make a comeback," he said.

He also backed fellow pacer Mohammad Amir to return to the national side.

"I have no doubt about Amir's ability and I'm hopeful that he will perform well and go on to represent Pakistan once again," he said.

The left-arm also stressed the importance of departmental cricket in Pakistan despite the fact that it was replaced by a regional cricket structure during former Prime Minister Imran Khan's tenure.

"Many cricketers have benefited from departmental cricket which includes financial support as well. I also polished my skills while playing in that system," he concluded.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Test cricketer Kamran Akmal has requested the new government to revive the departmental cricket, which was abolished by the Imran Khan government.

Talking to a group of reporters here, Kamran said that due to the closure of departmental cricket many cricketers had lost their jobs.

"I request the new government to restore the departmental cricket," Akmal added.

"If current Chairman of PCB Ramiz Raja is doing a good job then he should continue in the post," he further said.

Former Test captain Salman Butt has also said that the abolition of departmental cricket had made many players jobless.