Pakistan’s fast bowler, Haris Rauf, recently disclosed that he contemplated retiring from international cricket following criticism for his decision to opt out of the Test series against Australia in December 2023. The 30-year-old shared that he felt demoralized by the negative reactions he received but ultimately reconsidered his retirement after receiving advice and support from family and friends.
Rauf’s decision to make himself unavailable for the Test series had raised eyebrows, especially after chief selector Wahab Riaz and team director Mohammad Hafeez revealed that he had initially expressed a desire to play but later changed his stance. However, reports have suggested that Rauf had never firmly committed to participating in the series.
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Citing workload management as the primary reason for his decision, Rauf is currently participating in the Big Bash League 2023-24, representing the Melbourne Stars. His concerns about workload were not sudden; during the ODI World Cup 2023 in India, Rauf had already communicated his apprehensions to former chief coach Mickey Arthur.
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In that tournament, he had a challenging run, being the most expensive bowler, conceding 533 runs from nine innings while claiming 16 wickets at an average of 33.31 and an economy of 6.74. During the ODI World Cup, Rauf informed Arthur about the limitations of his body to endure the heavy workload associated with bowling in three Test matches.
Haris Rauf based his concerns on past experiences of injuries, recalling a significant injury after bowling just 13 overs in the only Test of his career against England in December 2022. Despite being persuaded by Arthur to reconsider, Rauf remained reluctant to participate in the Australia series.
As of now, in the ongoing Big Bash League 2023-24, Rauf has featured in four matches, securing six wickets at an impressive average of 16 and an economy rate of 8. His performances in the T20 league reflect his commitment to regaining form and fitness after the challenging period during the ODI World Cup.