Newly-appointed Chief Selector Wahab Riaz held a press conference on November 20 where he announced an 18-man squad for the Australia Test tour and also unleashed criticism towards Pakistan’s fast-bowler Haris Rauf for refusing to play the longer format.
According to The News, the 30-year-old, who just began his international career four years ago, is disturbed and upset by the unfair criticism coming from all sides.
The pacer is currently in Karachi for the National T20 Championship but sources close to the fast bowler told the publication that he wanted to be in the best of shape mentally, physically, and form-wise to restart playing Test cricket.
“Look, Haris is upset with those who have unleashed undue criticism on the pacers during the World Cup campaign. Even those who hardly know anything are criticising his form and raising questions about his not picking wickets regularly during World Cup matches,” said a close family source.
“What a fast bowler requires is to get mentally fit and ready for big-time cricket. Haris believes that he is not in the right state of mind physically and mentally to play Test cricket where you have to stay alert all five days.”
The source shared that Haris was of the view that he should focus on the shorter version of the game to get physically and mentally ready for Tests and other international commitments.
“It is just a matter of months before you see him playing all formats of the game. Currently, he wants to concentrate fully on T20 cricket.”
It is worth noting that Haris Rauf made his international debut with Pakistan in January 2020 in a T20I match against Bangladesh in Lahore.
To this date, he has only played nine First-Class (FC) matches and only one international Test match for Pakistan against England in December 2022 where the pacer only bowled 13 overs in one innings and had to leave the field due to a fitness issue.
Wahab had said that Haris, at first, agreed to play against Australia but refused at the last moment. However, according to ESPN Cricinfo, the pacer never agreed to play the longer format as he believes he is not fit enough for that.