The overhaul in Pakistan cricket’s top echelons continues after the team’s ouster from the ongoing Cricket World Cup after a fifth-place finish in the group stage.
Just two days after former Test captain Mohammad Hafeez was entrusted the role of Team Director for the Pakistan men’s cricket team and Shan Masood and Shaheen Shah Afridi took over the reins of the national team from Babar Azam, the Pakistan Cricket Board picked two former Pakistan pacers to lead two crucial selection committees.
While former left-arm fast bowler Wahab Riaz was appointed as the chief selector of the national men’s selection committee, Sohail Tanvir was named as the head of the junior selection committee.
Riaz’s first assignment will be the selection of the national men’s squad for the three-match Test series against Australia from December 14 to January 7 in Australia and the five-match T20I series against New Zealand from January 12 to 21 in New Zealand. Riaz picked up 237 wickets and scored 1200 runs across the three formats after making his debut for Pakistan in 2008. He represented Pakistan in 27 Tests, 91 ODIs and 36 T20Is.
A PCB press release making the announcement quoted Riaz — who is Pakistan’s second-most successful bowler in World Cups, registering 35 wickets across three editions of the marquee event — as saying: “Heading a selection committee is a challenging task. We have a significant Australia tour coming up that is part of the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle and a T20I series against New Zealand that will allow us to develop a formidable unit leading up to the ICC T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies in June next year.
“I have a good rapport with the Pakistan Men’s Team Director Mohammad Hafeez and we will be working closely for the success of Pakistan cricket. My primary goal would be to give weightage to the top performers in domestic cricket and announce well-rounded squads equipped with the necessary skillsets. I will always be available to the players for feedback and advice.”
Meanwhile, Tanvir’s first assignment as chairperson of the junior selection committee will be the selection of the Pakistan U19 squad for the 2023 ACC U19 Asia Cup scheduled to be held between 8 and 17 December in UAE. Pakistan U19 will later take part in the ICC U19 World Cup from 13 January to 4 February in Sri Lanka.
Tanvir made his international debut in 2007 and made two Test, 62 ODI and 57 T20I appearances for Pakistan. He picked up 130 wickets and scored 612 runs across the three formats.