All-rounder Imad Wasim sent shockwaves through the sporting world by announcing his retirement from international cricket via social media on November 24, 2023. Citing contemplation over his career trajectory, the seasoned all-rounder, nearing his 35th birthday, chose this moment to bid adieu, leaving fans and experts astounded.

His significant role in Pakistan’s T20I strategy was undeniable, as evident from his consistent presence in all eight T20Is played by Pakistan in 2023, holding a C-category central contract.

However, the timing of Imad’s retirement, especially ahead of the World T20 2024 scheduled in June, stirred divided opinions. Some pointed fingers at PCB, while others questioned Imad’s unexpected move.


PCB or Imad Wasim – Who is at fault?

Events leading up to his retirement further sparked discussions. Just prior to his announcement, Imad intended to join the Abu Dhabi T10 League, bypassing the National T20 2023.

However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) urged all players to participate in the National T20 Cup, setting the stage for Imad Wasim’s sudden retirement declaration on social media.

Imad’s retirement brought the spotlight onto Pakistan’s national team selection criteria, raising eyebrows about exceptions and perceived favouritism despite the emphasis on domestic cricket as the route to national selection.

Expressing discontent about being excluded from the ODI squad despite reasonable performances, Imad’s recent track record portrayed mixed outcomes. His last few ODI innings highlighted commendable batting alongside moderate bowling figures, leading to debates on the fairness of his exclusion.

Scrutiny on PCB’s communication with players grew evident as Imad’s omission mirrored past instances of unclear feedback, echoing the sentiments of other sidelined players.

Comparisons arose between Imad and players like Fawad Alam and Tabish Khan, who maintained consistent appearances in domestic cricket despite setbacks, contrasting with Imad’s sporadic showings.

In T20Is, Imad’s journey faced turbulence after his post-World T20 2021 exclusion. His 2023 return raised doubts about his stability within the team, especially compared to counterparts holding multiple-format contracts.

Additionally, hurdles arose in his T10 league participation due to PCB’s stance, signalling a shift among players towards more lucrative league contracts.

Imad Wasim’s sudden retirement underscored the underlying tensions between players’ ambitions, PCB’s strategies, and the evolving landscape of international cricket leagues.

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