Out-of-favour Pakistan pacer Wahab Riaz has entered politics while still active on the cricket circuit after being named as the caretaker sports minister in the Punjab province.
The left-arm fast bowler, who is currently playing in the Bangladesh Premier League, will take oath after he returns to Pakistan.
The 37-year old has been retained by Peshawar Zalmi for this year’s Pakistan Super League and it is expected that despite his appointment as the sports minister he will fulfill his commitment with the Zalmi side.
Wahab, who last played for Pakistan in 2020, has appeared in 27 Tests, 92 ODIs and 36 T20 internationals. He is the leading wicket taker in the PSL with 103 wickets.
Wahab’s appointment was confirmed by the caretaker Punjab Chief Minister, Mohsin Naqvi on Friday and the cricketer will probably hold this position until elections of the Punjab Assembly are held in the next three to four months.
In an interview, Wahab on Friday said that the former chief selector, Muhammad Wasim and the ex-Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Ramiz Raja had not been fair with senior players like him, Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed.
He also said he knew that Ramiz was the final voice when it came to the Pakistan team selection but he didn’t show seniors the respect they deserved.
Wahab is not the first cricketer to join politics as former captain, Imran Khan has remained Prime Minister while another pacer, Sarfaraz Nawaz was an elected MNA and served as sports minister in the Benazir Bhutto government in the 90s.