Karachi: Pakistan cricket authorities and former players have backed Wahab Riaz's selection in the side for the upcoming series against England and termed British media's criticism of paceman's inclusion as "unfair".
A section of the British media has described as negative the Pakistan Board's decision to select Riaz, whose name figured the spot-fixing scandal.
"We know there is history between the two teams after last year's spot-fixing scandal in England and subsequent events. But we just want to focus on cricket and on keeping the series free of controversies and issues," Pakistan coach Mohsin Khan said.
Riaz was overlooked for the one-day series against Sri Lanka and the tour to Bangladesh after his name was mentioned during the spot-fixing trial but he has been recalled for the England series.
Mohsin said PCB has its own system of scrutinising and clearing players and it was only after they gave a green signal to the selectors that Riaz was considered for selection.
"As far as I am concerned once a player is made eligible for selection by the board, he is like any other member of the team. And he is in the side because of his ability to reverse swing the old ball which will be a big asset for us on the pitches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi," Mohsin said.
The English press has also warned of bad blood between the two teams because of Riaz's selection, recalling his clash with England batsman Jonathan Trott last year during the fourth Test at the Oval.