Wednesday December 06, 2023

Indian mindset is to limit Pakistan's cricket: ex-PCB chief

Raja says ICC is influenced by BCCI because majority of its revenue comes from India

By Web Desk
January 10, 2023
Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja speaking during an event in Lahore on January 10, 2023. — YouTube screengrab/Geo News Live
Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja speaking during an event in Lahore on January 10, 2023. — YouTube screengrab/Geo News Live 

LAHORE: Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja on Tuesday said that the Indian cricket board — influenced by Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) mindset — is trying to limit Pakistan's international games. 

Raja, who was dismissed as the PCB chief in December 2022, said that International Cricket Council (ICC) is influenced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) because the majority of its revenue comes from India.

His comments came while addressing an event at the Government College University Lahore. Raja said that he took the stance for the country when India tried pressurising Pakistan to shift this year's Asia Cup to a neutral venue despite the Asian Cricket Council's (ACC) decision to give hosting rights to Pakistan.

Raja, in October last year, had said that Pakistan will not go to India for ICC World Cup if the neighbouring country pulls out of the Asia Cup in Pakistan.

The former cricketer added that the Indian team, with a billion-dollar cricket industry, was unable to make it to the finals of the T20 World Cup but Pakistan did.

The former PCB chief said he focused on growth and consistency during his 1.5-year tenure, adding that overthrowing an existing setup by bulldozing the constitution is highly unfair.

He added that such radical changes in the board and system would demoralise young players adding that the restoration of PCB's 2014 constitution has brought Pakistan cricket to a "dark age".

The former Pakistan skipper alleged that the new setup promised to provide employment, however, they have fired over 150 coaches.

Rejecting the notion that cricketers are not good administrators, Raja said that cricket affairs should be run by cricketers and be kept out of politics.

Shedding light on Shan Masood's appointment as vice-captain of the one-day team for the New Zealand series, Raja said that a player whose place in the playing eleven was not secure was named skipper Babar Azam's deputy, adding that such tempering would only cause pressure on the team.

Talking about wicket-keeper/batter Sarfaraz Ahmed's benching during his era, he said that Sarfaraz was always part of the Test setup, but the playing eleven was always picked by the coach and captain.

While talking about match-fixing in cricket, Raja labelled players involved in fixing "traitors", and said that he does not have any respect for them.

"I am from an era when nine players were fighting for the win while two were just playing around." Players involved in fixing games deserve no love, he added.