Pakistan paceman Wahab Riaz took to Twitter on Wednesday to apologize for his lackluster showing against rivals India in the Champions Trophy, saying he had “let down his nation.”
The 31-year-old left-arm quick was smashed for 87 runs in just 8.4 wicket-less overs when the Asian giants met in their Champions Trophy opener at Birmingham’s Edgbaston ground on Sunday. Title-holders India won by the huge margin of 124 runs in a tournament featuring the world’s top eight one-day international sides.
As well as repeatedly bowling too short and too wide, Riaz, a veteran of 79 ODIs, was unable to complete his allocation of overs after suffering an ankle injury while falling over in his delivery stride and was unable to bat in the match.
Riaz, who has now been ruled out of the rest of the tournament, tweeted Wednesday: “My performance has let down my nation n team. I tried my best but it was not good enough. I’m heart broken as well.”
Pakistan’s performance was widely castigated, with former captain Shahid Afridi singling out Riaz for criticism. “Wahab Riaz was once the spearhead of this bowling attack but his performance was a major let down on such an important occasion,” Afridi wrote in a column for the ICC website.
Pakistan now have to beat South Africa, the world’s top-ranked ODI side, in their second Group B match at Edgbaston on Wednesday if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals. Rumman Raes, a fellow left-arm fast bowler, has been summoned as a replacement for Riaz but Junaid Khan is set to take his place against the Proteas.