- Ramiz Raja downplays the criticism of the team, calling for a leeway for the team.
- Says the team can win the ICC T20 World Cup.
- Asks skipper Babar Azam to keep up the pressure to win every single match.
Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ramiz Raja has brushed aside the criticism directed towards the current national cricket team, saying, the team is ranked third for a reason. The board chief said the team is capable of winning the ICC’s Men Twenty20 World Cup starting next month.
He said this as he arrived at the National Stadium Karachi to watch the opener of the seven-match T20I series against England. The tourists defeated Pakistan by six wickets.
The PCB chief said he was only focusing on cricket. “This is an extremely crucial series for the preparation of the World Cup. We welcome England back. We worked very hard to bring England to Pakistan after they left the country resentful,” he said, interacting with journalists.
Responding to a question regarding the team’s performance, he supported the team, saying, “First of all, it is the team that played the final of the Asia Cup. Additionally, this team has routed India in the Asia Cup,” he noted. He also asked whether or not the team deserves some leeway.
The PCB chief continued to say he tries to communicate to Babar Azam that he will have to win every single match. “I ask Babar Azam to always keep this pressure on him as the memory of cricket fans is very short.”
Replying to a query regarding chairs at the stadium, he said the import of new chairs is on hold, so the fans are sitting on the caterer’s chairs.
It was an unwarranted controversy regarding pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, he said, adding, “How can anyone say that we will not take care of our player?”
He said that Shaheen is being rehabilitated in England. The PCB is sending Fakhar to England for rehabilitation, he said, adding the board is also taking care of Rizwan.
He announced Shaheen would be in the Pakistan squad for the World Cup.
Replying to a question regarding the former cricketers’ criticism of the team selection, Ramiz Raja underscored the need to back the team. However, he said ex-players may have different opinions on the selection of the team and there is no harm.
Thumbnail: Screengrab of the video.