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Imad Wasim reverses international retirement, making him available for the T20 World Cup

Pakistan all-rounder Imad Wasim, who announced his international retirement last year, has taken back his decision
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Pakistan all-rounder Imad Wasim, who announced his international retirement last year, has taken back his decision and will be available for T20I selection again.

Wasim retired from international cricket in November 2023, seven months after he last played for Pakistan, to focus on his franchise T20 career. Wasim made the decision after only playing sporadically for Pakistan in the previous few years. Wasim last played an ODI in 2020 and did not play a single T20I in 2022, after which he warned that he would “take a step” if he was left out “without reason” again.

The 35-year-old was picked for T20Is against Afghanistan and New Zealand last year but was sidelined again.

Babar was later removed as Pakistan’s skipper with Shaheen Afridi replacing him. The new leader was reportedly eager to have Wasim back in the team ahead of the T20 World Cup in June this year.

Wasim confirmed he had taken back his retirement after being persuaded by the PCB officials. “I am happy to announce that pursuant to meeting PCB officials, I have reconsidered my retirement and am delighted to declare my availability for Pakistan cricket in T20i format leading up to ICC T20i World Cup 2024.

“I would like to thank the PCB for reposing trust in me and I would give my very best to bring laurels to my country. Pakistan comes first!”

Wasim was in fine form in the recent Pakistan Super League, picking up 12 wickets, including a match-winning 5-23 in the final for Islamabad United. He also got 3-12 in Eliminator 1, dismissing Saud Shakeel, Rilee Rossouw and Khawaja Nafay in his first three overs.

Wasim, a slow left-arm spinner, has picked up 317 T20 wickets at an average of 24.56 and has also scored 3,741 runs in 260 innings with 11 fifties.

Wasim is the latest player to join the trend of reversing their retirement to play again. Tamim Iqbal and Ben Stokes took back their retirements last year while Wanindu Hasaranga recently did a U-turn on his Test retirement.

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