Haris Rauf considered international retirement amid criticism on Test refusal

Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Hafeez consistently criticised Rauf over withdrawing from Australia Test

January 15, 2024
Haris Rauf - AFP

KARACHI: Fast bowler Haris Rauf had contemplated retiring from international cricket due to unwarranted criticism for opting out of the Test series in Australia, Geo News reported on Monday.

Chief Selector Wahab Riaz and Team Director Mohammad Hafeez consistently criticised Rauf for his choice to withdraw from the Test series.

The criticism left Rauf disheartened, and he briefly pondered international retirement. But, after seeking advice from friends, he reconsidered his decision and redirected his focus towards his cricketing career.

Former director Mickey Arthur, recognising Rauf's exceptional pace, actively pushed him to join the Australia tour during the 2023 World Cup.

Arthur emphasised Rauf's importance as a key asset, expressing a keen desire to see him in action against Australia in Test matches.

Despite Arthur's efforts, Rauf consistently turned down the suggestions, citing his limited exposure to first-class cricket and concerns about potential injuries.

During the World Cup, the 30-year-old fast bowler had told the team management about his fitness concerns.

Rauf expressed reservations about his current fitness level, foreseeing difficulties in Test matches and underlining the necessity for thoughtful consideration.

Remember, Wahab Riaz had said that Rauf's fitness was not a concern since the management had planned to bowl him ten overs a day.

"We spoke to Haris Rauf about this tour two days ago, and he gave his consent to playing Tests for Pakistan. However, he changed his mind last night and didn't want to be a part of this Australia Test series,” Riaz said while announcing Test squad for series on November 20, 2023.

“He was worried about fitness issues and workload. We gave him assurances that we will facilitate him and accept any potential failures. Our physio said he has no injury concerns. He is fatigued, but we could have managed him well. However, he pulled out and is unavailable for this tour. I think this could hurt Pakistan cricket," he added.

Rauf has only played a solitary Test match for Pakistan over the course of his career after making his debut against England last year in Rawalpindi.