Wahab confident of winning ICC Emerging Player Award

Karachi: Pakistan`s promising Test pacer Wahab Riaz feels that he is a frontrunner for the International Cricket Council Emerging Player Award to be presented on September 12 on London.

Wahab, who left for London on Saturday to attend the ICC awards ceremony, told reporters that he felt honoured to be shortlisted for the award.

"I think I stand a good chance of getting the nod. It feels good to be nominated after my first full year of international cricket. I made my debut in 2008 but since last year I played regularly for the team and it allowed me to improve, learn and deliver good performances," Wahab said.

The left-armer, who hails from Lahore, had a satisfactory season with English county side Kent recently despite being rested by the national selectors for the tour of Zimbabwe.

"I think my five wickets on my Test debut at the Oval last year and then the fiver against India in the 2011 World Cup semi final at Mohali has got me shortlisted for the award and that really feels good," he said.

26-year-old Wahab, who has played seven Tests and 22 ODIs, made his ODI and T20 debuts in 2008 against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh but only became a regular member of Pakistan last year in England.

Wahab, however, admitted that the three other contenders for the emerging player award, including Pakistan teammate Azhar Ali and West Indians Darren Bravo and Devendra Bishoo also had good chances of winning.

"If I look at Azhar he has been very consistent in Tests at the one-down position which is not an easy task so I see him as a front runner but hopefully my five wicket hauls at the Oval and Mohali can tilt votes my way," he said.

Wahab said while he was disappointed at not being picked for Zimbabwe tour, he was working hard to get back into the national side for the forthcoming series against Sri Lanka.


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