'I didn't deserve to play' - Pakistan's Rizwan reveals he asked to be dropped for New Zealand Tests

By Sports Desk February 09, 2023

Mohammad Rizwan asked to be dropped for Pakistan's two-match Test series against New Zealand as he felt he "didn't deserve to play" on his form.

The wicket-keeper-batter was a surprise omission from the hosts' squad for their pair of games over the new year period with the Black Caps.

Rizwan was replaced by former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, who returned to the red-ball fold for the first time since 2019, and was named player of the series with 335 runs.

Reflecting on his absence, the 30-year-old has disclosed that it was at his own instigation he was left out, as he felt his performances had not been up to the level required.

"You can ask the head coach Saqlain Mushtaq what I told him after the end of the England Test series," Rizwan told Cricket Pakistan in an interview.

"I personally thought that since I wasn't able to perform, I didn't deserve to play in the next series."

Following a score of 104 not out against Australia in March last year, Rizwan failed to make a half-century in his following six Test appearances.

When that run culminated with a rough series against England shortly before Christmas, he acknowledged he was not matching his own standards, and was delighted to see his replacement flourish.

"I was happy to see Sarfaraz perform because that is what I wanted," he added.

"Sarfaraz has been performing in domestic cricket and deserves his chance now.

"I asked for his inclusion. Whoever performs best for Pakistan deserves to play. Some players said that every player goes through this phase, and you can't sit on the bench based on few failures.

"But I went to the coach and captain myself and told them that you can drop me because I haven't performed.

"Two players are witnesses to this conversation."

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