Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has stated that fast bowler Haris Rauf must play Test cricket if he wishes to solidify his legacy as a 'great'.
Pakistan is set to engage in three Test matches in Australia beginning in mid-December. However, prominent white-ball speedster Rauf will not participate in the series, having withdrawn due to concerns about workload and fitness.
Rauf has previously voiced worries about his workload and fitness, although the Pakistan team's physio had cleared him of any injury concerns.
Speaking to reporters at Kayo Sports’ Summer of Cricket launch event on December 8, Akram mentioned that it was Rauf’s choice if he preferred to focus on white-ball cricket. However, he added that playing Test cricket is crucial to establishing a lasting legacy in the game.
“That’s his decision,” Akram said. “He’s a contracted player, so there’s a lot of controversies back home. There are some white-ball specialist cricketers in this day and age, if he thinks he’s not there as yet, then that’s his call.
“Test is a big boy’s game at the end of the day. You’ve got to bowl eight-over spells. In T20 you bowl four overs and stand at fine leg. Piece of cake. Test cricket is a long race, and if you want to be remembered as a great of the game, that’s where Test cricket comes in.”
Rauf has participated in just one Test match to date, facing England in 2022. His experience in first-class cricket comprises merely nine matches, yet he boasts a track record of over 200 white-ball games across various formats. His upcoming appearance will be in the Big Bash League, representing Melbourne Stars.
Earlier this week, Haris Rauf submitted his reply to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after the 30-year-old received show cause notice.
As per the notice, centrally contracted players should be unconditionally available for the national team but Haris Rauf had indicated unavailability for the three matches.
Haris cited the reason of withdrawal for not having enough red-ball practice on the back.
It must be noted that 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 wanted to be in the best of shape mentally, physically, and form-wise to restart playing Test cricket.
Riaz had said Haris was ready to feature in the Australia series but he changed his mind on Sunday night (November 19).
Haris is currently in Australia where he will represent Melbourne Stars in Big Bash League (BBL) 13.
In a bid to balance their participation and national commitments, his NO have been allocated within a specific timeframe. He has been cleared to participate in Australia's premier tournament between December 7 and December 28.