When clicked Wahab can become the most deadly bowler in the cricket world. The late bloomer registers a bowling average speed of 145 KPH and is a great threat for the batsmen who are not good at short pitched stuffs. With his superb bowling skills, he has cemented his place in the starting XI of Pakistan team. Following are some facts you don’t know about the Punjab native.
The merciless pace merchant was born on 28th June 1985 in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.
Wahab’s forefathers belonged to Gujarat in Pakistan. He belongs to a Gujjar family in Lahore.
Wahab studied at the well know Aitchison College in Lahore and was part of the cricket team of his school. He later earned his MSc degree in Biotechnology from The University of the Punjab.
Wahab is often called as Vicky and even his Twitter account reads Wahab Viki.
Transformation from medium to fast pacer
Riaz reflected in an interview to media that he started as a medium pacer but under the guidance of AqibJaved, he become the pace demon. He emphasized that he trained hard to bowl fast for almost six to seven years and eventually became a fast pacer. He was quoted in the interview, “When I started I was really, really a medium-pace bowler, very slow. But Aaqib Javed worked on me. He always said, ‘If you don’t bowl fast, you can’t be a fast bowler.’ So he really pushed me, made me work hard for six, seven years and then I started to bowl fast.”
The pace demon was part of the Under-19 squad of Pakistan in 2003-04. He was also part of the team which participated in the Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh in 2004.
First class debut
When Wahab was 16 years old he made his First-Class debut for Lahore Whites against the Peshawar team. However, he failed to grab a wicket in the match.
The 31-year-old displayed brilliant performances in the domestic season of 2007-08 where he bagged 68 wickets at an average of 20.54 from 14 matches. His brilliant performances led him receive call in the national side and he was eventually selected for the tour to Zimbabwe in 2008.
Brilliant Test debut
Wahab left a mark in his debut at the longest format of the game at The Oval in 2010. He superbly claimed five victims for 63 and became the ninth Pakistan bowler to record a five-wicket haul on their Test debut.
One short of the perfect 10
Riaz was one short of taking a perfect 10 during a domestic competition. He jolted down figures of 9 for 59 at the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match between Lahore Ravi and Lahore Shalimar three years ago. His nine-wicket haul included a spectacular hat-trick. In addition to this, he dismissed the likes of Adnan Akmal, Ahmed Shahad and Waqas Ahmed from the top order of the opposition team. AizazCheema grabbed a wicket and denied Wahab’s chance of creating a history.
Best spell of the star
In the quarter-final clash with Australia at the ICC World Cup 2015, Wahab unleashed his deadly deliveries and dismissed David Warner and Michael Clarke while Pakistan was defending 214. He then continued applying pressure on Shane Watson and both exchanged heating conversations, eventually being fined by the end of the match. Watson led his side to glory but Wahab won heats of several cricket fans.
Pakistan Super League
While being placed in the platinum category, Wahab was bought for $140,000 by the Khyber Pakhtun khawan side The Peshawar Zalmi. The star collected 10 wickets in the group stages and led his side to reach the playoffs.
Wahab lost his temper during a group stage match between Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators at the Pakistan Super League. He exchanged heated conversation and was involved in physical tussle with his national teammate Ahmed Shahzad. Both received official warning and were imposed fines by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Wahab knot his tie to Zainab Chaudhary three years ago and both have daughter named Esha Riaz. Zainab is the daughter of businessman Haji Shahid Chaudhry.