Pakistani pacer Haris Rauf has denied the reports of withdrawing from the Australian Test series tour last minute as claimed by Chief Selector Wahab Riaz.
Wahab Riaz had announced the Test squad for the Australian tour yesterday. The absence of Haris Rauf from the 18-member squad raised eyebrows among fans and cricket analysts.
When asked about the exclusion of Haris Rauf from the squad, Wahab Riaz, said that the pacer pulled out from the squad last minute after approving his availability.
“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.
“He was worried about fitness issues and workload. We gave him assurances that we would 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.
However, as per the latest reports, a close source to Haris Rauf says that the bowler had never expressed his interest to play the red-ball cricket. The source said that the pacer solely wants to focus on white-ball cricket. With T20 World Cup, a few months away, he wants to focus on his fitness and improving his skills.
Haris Rauf had failed to put a significant performance in the Asia Cup 2023 and ICC ODI World Cup 2023. Hence, he wants to improve his game for the upcoming T20 series and World Cup.
Moreover, his participation in the Big Bash League is doubtful due to the strained relations between Rauf and Riaz. BBL is expected to start on December 13th, 2023, and will continue till February 4th, 2023.