Ramiz Raja has promised to fix Pakistan cricket’s direction after being overwhelmingly and unopposed voted as the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman on 13th September. Raja, who is just the 4th cricketer to lead the PCB after Abdul Hafeez Kardar (1972-1977), Javed Burki (1994-1995), and Ijaz Butt (2008-2011), addressed the media upon his selection and met with Aqib Javed and Moin Khan.
Raja’s speech was notable for his commitment to upgrading Pakistan’s cricketing infrastructure and attempting to concentrate on the grassroot level. He also stated that the team’s and cricket board’s performances are linked, as well as the necessity to “revisit” Pakistan cricket’s coaching system.
“Cricket is my constituency, it’s my subject,” said Ramiz. “My vision is clear cut, I had been thinking that whenever I get an opportunity, I will reset it. The compass needs to be reset. There are long-term goals and a few short-term goals, but whatever those are, one thing is pretty simple,the cricket board’s performance is related to the team’s performance. It goes all the way down to the age-group cricket. The infrastructure below, and the work at grassroots level is a reflection on the team performance. There is a need to work on several tiers, and on every tier, the direction needs to be reset”.
Raja went on to say what he expects from Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Wasim Khan. “It’s too early for me to assess him. It’s important for me to know him better,” said Ramiz.
Pakistan cricket has a fearless and aggressive approach in our DNA: Ramiz
“It’s similarly important for me to understand the role. You (as captain) tend to make many demands, some good but others which you need to make a persuasive case for. I did a couple of sessions with him and told him that if you don’t have 400 autograph hunters outside the academy then the whole objective to play cricket has failed. I want a leadership like the one I played under in my era. My expectations for Babar are the same as I had with Imran Khan.”
PCB CEO Wasim Khan described the situation as “internal” to the board. “The matter of the PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan is an internal matter of PCB. I will not disclose what decision will be taken regarding extension of tenure of PCB CEO.”
Raja declared a monthly salary increase of USD 600 for each first-class cricketer in Pakistan, as well as revealing that his major goal is to improve the quality and standards of domestic cricket in Pakistan.
“There is uncertainty among first-class cricketers in the new system,” Ramiz said. “Whether it’s how long they will be playing, for how long they will be paid, what they need to get improve, and how their performances will be evaluated. I have spoken with the Pakistan team and have discussed the model. We clearly know that Pakistan cricket has a fearless and aggressive approach in our DNA. We are unpredictable, hence, we are watchable as well because on a given day we can do anything. I have countless wishes for Pakistan cricket but all of them will remain wishes until we don’t work on our technique and skills.”