Report Claims Haris Rauf’s Contemplation of Retirement and Test Cricket Decision Faces Criticism

Report Claims Haris Rauf’s Contemplation of Retirement and Test Cricket Decision Faces Criticism

Pakistan’s fiery fast bowler, Haris Rauf, reportedly considered retiring from international cricket in the face of severe backlash for withdrawing from the Test series against Australia. Criticism from chief selector Wahab Riaz and Team Director Mohammad Hafeez regarding his unavailability for the three-Test series left Rauf disheartened.

However, after seeking counsel from friends, Rauf decided against hanging up his boots and instead focused on preparing for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand. Earlier speculations hinted that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) might withhold a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for Rauf to participate in the Big Bash League (BBL) 2023-24 with the Melbourne Stars. Eventually, Rauf was allowed to play a few matches before joining the T20I squad in New Zealand.

The report also revealed that former director Mickey Arthur had expressed the desire for Rauf to be part of the Australia tour. Despite this, Rauf opted to concentrate on white-ball cricket, citing his lack of experience in red-ball cricket and a desire to minimize the risk of injuries.

Notably, he suffered an injury during his Test debut against England in December 2022. The 30-year-old maintained transparent communication with the team management regarding fitness concerns. In a press conference before the Test series against Australia, Riaz explained the situation, saying, ‘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 acknowledged Rauf’s concerns about fitness and workload, assuring him of support, but Rauf ultimately opted out. Currently participating in the five-T20I series against New Zealand, Rauf has claimed five wickets so far, with a notable three-wicket haul in the Hamilton T20I. Despite individual efforts, Pakistan lost to New Zealand by 21 runs in that match. Rauf is set to feature in the must-win third T20I on January 17.

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