x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

PCB comments on Wahab's selection for UAE series raises a stir

Under match fixing cloud, the bowler is picked for the games against England amid conflicting statements.

Wahab Riaz's selection for Pakistan's series against England took a controversial turn after Zaka Ashraf, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that he had sought "clearance" from the International Cricket Council (ICC) before picking him.

Riaz was named but not implicated in the spot-fixing trial in London in October that saw three Pakistani cricketers imprisoned.

That prompted the PCB to not play him - despite being a first-choice pick through the year - against Sri Lanka in their series in the UAE, and to drop him from the tour to Bangladesh altogether.

Speculation that the ICC had a hand in the original, unexplained exclusion was unfounded, but Ashraf's statements raised the matter again, and were met with a rare denial from Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's chief executive.

"It remains the absolute right of a member board to decide which player it wishes to include in a squad or select in its team for any match," he said.

As ties between the ICC and PCB have been damaged by the corruption case, that brought a swift clarification from the PCB, that they had approached them for information.

"In pursuing its zero-tolerance policy towards corruption, PCB as a precautionary measure approached ICC's anti-corruption unit regarding information on Wahab Riaz. In the absence of any observation, PCB proceeded with selecting Wahab for the England series."

"We would like...the unit to share any information on our players with PCB in order to jointly proceed in such matters," the board said. "We hope we are able to establish that protocol in the future."

 

osamiuddin@thenational.ae