Pakistan cricketer Wahab Riaz joins politics, named Punjab Sports Minister

Pakistan cricketer Wahab Riaz joins politics, named Punjab Sports Minister

Pakistan-based fast bowler Wahab Riaz has entered politics while still active on the cricket circuit after being named as the acting sports minister in Punjab province.

The left-arm fast bowler, who is currently playing in the Bangladesh Premier League, will take oath after returning to Pakistan.

The 37-year-old has been retained by Peshawar Zalmi for this year’s Pakistan Super League and is expected to fulfill his commitment with the Zalmi side despite his appointment as sports minister.

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Wahab, who last played for Pakistan in 2020, has played 27 Tests, 92 ODIs and 36 T20 Internationals. He is the highest wicket taker in PSL with 103 wickets.

Punjab’s caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi on Friday confirmed Wahab’s appointment and the cricketer is likely to continue in the post till the elections to the Punjab Assembly are held in the next three to four months.

Wahab said in an interview on Friday that former chief selector Muhammad Wasim and former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Rameez Raja were not fair with senior players like him, Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed.

He also said that he was aware that Rameez is the final voice when it comes to Pakistan team selection but he did not show the seniors the respect they deserved.

Wahab is not the first cricketer to join politics as former captain, Imran Khan has gone on to be prime minister, while another fast bowler, Sarfaraz Nawaz was an elected MNA and as sports minister in the Benazir Bhutto government in the 90s. were employed.

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