Pakistan thumped India by 180 runs to bag their maiden Champions Trophy title at the Oval. But left-handed fast bowler Wahab Riaz was ruled out of the tournament after sustaining an ankle injury during their first Group B match against India. He bowled 8.4 overs before going out. The fast bowler while talking to PTI expressed his delight for his side that lifted the trophy while also showed the disappointment of missing out on the tournament.
“I had to return home injured due to torn ligaments near my ankle after the opening match against India. And it has been very difficult for me to sit through and watch the matches,” Wahab told.
“I am very happy that the team did so well and won the trophy for the first time. Because we are a team. But having remained a regular member of the Pakistan team in different formats for the last few years, sitting out from such an important event after being forced out by injury was a hard reality to accept,” he said.
Talking about the group match against India, Riaz accepted that the team was a bit under pressure while playing against India.
“It was a difficult match for all of us and we just came under too much pressure. We were nowhere, to be honest in that match and I started feeling pain in my ankle after just three to four overs. But I kept on bowling because of the situation and because we wanted to restrict India,” Wahab said.
“I thought about leaving the field as the pain was intolerable but I kept on with it for three to four overs after which my ankle gave way and I collapsed,” he recalled.
Pakistan lifted their maiden Champions Trophy title and the left-arm pacer told that it was a team meeting after the first match that changed fortunes for them.
“We all sat down and everyone spoke his mind. Coach Mickey Arthur told us that it didn’t matter if we lost or won. What mattered was we had to make our presence felt in the tournament as we were not there just to make up the numbers. He and Sarfaraz (captain) told everyone that they all had to change their mindset and go and play freely like other teams were doing,” he added.
“The key to any player doing well is for the management to back him up and I can say this the captain and coach and other coaches have backed us up all the way. After the loss to India, we wanted to show everyone what we were capable of that is why missing out and having to return home was so hard to accept.”