Wahab Riaz
Wahab Riaz Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: The Pakistan Cricket Board appointed former international fast bowler Wahab Riaz as the head of the selection committee on Friday.

Riaz’s first assignment will be to select the Test squad for next month’s three-match series in Australia, which will be followed by five T20s in New Zealand.

Riaz will replace Inzamam-ul-Haq, who stepped down from the chief selector’s position amid allegations of a conflict of interest during the Cricket World Cup.

“The (PCB's) decision to involve former players in cricketing matters is commendable,” Wahab said in statement. “Heading a selection committee is a challenging task. We have a significant Australia tour coming up … and a T20I series against New Zealand that will allow us to develop a formidable unit leading up to the ICC T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies in June next year.”

A number of changes have been made in the Pakistan team since it failed to progress beyond the league stage at the Cricket World Cup and finished fifth in the 10-team event. Captain Babar Azam resigned from all formats and the PCB handed the test captaincy to Shan Masood, while Shaheen Afridi will be the new T20 skipper.

Team director Mickey Arthur and head coach Grant Bradburn were also asked to report to the National Cricket Academy in Lahore and both will not accompany the team on the tours of Australia and New Zealand.

Former captain Mohammad Hafeez has been appointed as the team director and will most likely also serve as the head coach.

Both Hafeez and Masood will be part of the selection committee to pick the squad for the test series in Australia, which begins in Perth on Dec. 14.

“I have a good rapport with Hafeez and we will be working closely for the success of Pakistan cricket,” Riaz said. “My primary goal would be to give weightage to the top performers in domestic cricket and announce well-rounded squads equipped with the necessary skillsets. I will always be available to the players for feedback and advice.”

Riaz retired from international cricket in August after representing Pakistan in 27 test matches, 91 ODIs and 36 T20s, picking up 237 wickets in the three formats.