Virender Sehwag accuses Wahab Riaz of favoritism after Pakistan’s disappointing exit from T20 World Cup 2024

Jun 20, 2024

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Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag has strongly criticized the Pakistan cricket setup, highlighting what he sees as glaring hypocrisy and favoritism following Pakistan’s early exit from the T20 World Cup 2024. Pakistan’s shocking defeat to USA and inability to advance past the group stage, including a crucial loss to arch-rivals India, have intensified scrutiny on their team management.

Virender Sehwag’s accusations of favoritism in player selection

Speaking to Cricbuzz, Sehwag specifically targeted Pakistan selector Wahab Riaz, accusing him of favoritism in team selection. Riaz, who took over as chief selector recently, swiftly recalled Mohammad Amir to the squad despite the left-arm pacer having retired from international cricket in 2021 and publicly criticizing the team on TV.

Sehwag questioned the integrity of selectors who once criticized the system but then promoted their colleagues once in power, emphasizing the need for fairness and foresight in player selection.

“Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir are the two names who used to give their opinions on Pakistan TV news channels against their national team. Now one of them is a selector and the other is in playing XI. They were criticizing the team once and now when they have come to power, what are they doing?” Sehwag said.

“So the same persons who were criticizing (Pakistan cricket), if today they have power, became the selector, what have they done first up? ‘Mohammad Amir was with me, let’s select him,” the 45-year-old added.

Also READ: Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf reveals the reason behind his viral altercation with a fan in USA

Comparison to India’s cricket governance

Comparing the situation to India’s cricket governance, Sehwag cited the hypothetical scenario of a former player like Ajit Agarkar, now a selector, showing bias towards retired players over the current crop. He stressed the importance of selectors prioritizing the future of the team rather than personal preferences or past allegiances.

“Now that Ajit Agarkar is the chairman of selectors for BCCI, he would say ‘Come on Viru, I’ll help you make a comeback into the team’. This is not done. You have to see the future. You have become a selector, you have a job in hand. Use it in the right way, don’t do favours,” Sehwag concluded.

Backlash over Pakistan’s captaincy decisions

In addition to selection controversies, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has faced backlash over its handling of captaincy decisions. After Shaheen Afridi‘s brief tenure as T20I captain ended abruptly, Babar Azam was reinstated despite criticism following Pakistan’s disappointing performance in the previous 50-overs World Cup. This decision, meant to stabilize leadership, has yet to yield positive results as Pakistan once again faltered in a major ICC tournament under Babar’s captaincy.

Also READ: Pakistan legend Younis Khan names a surprising pick to replace Babar Azam as T20I captain

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