Former Pakistan chief Ramiz Raja.
Former Pakistan chief Ramiz Raja. Image Credit: X

The former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja feels that Pakistan should look to go with new and young players for the future, rather than always going back to the retired players. The advice came after the team’s two back-to-back heart-breaking defeats against India and the United States of America in the Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.

Pakistan failed to use their batting talent against the USA in their first game of the campaign, at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas and later failed to defend the total against an associate nation, who looked charged up and more energetic than Pakistan for the lion’s share of the game.

A few good overs from Mohammad Amir brought them back into the contest, but they leaked too many runs to move the game to the ‘super-over’ where they looked clueless in their planning. The Babar Azam-led side failed to chase 19 runs as they fell short by five runs.

‘By asking all these retirees to come, you are actually neglecting the good work…’- Ramiz Raja

The former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja observes that the way they are bringing back their retired players, it will never help their system and the young players, who are scoring truck-loaded runs in the domestic circuit.

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Against arch-rival India, Pakistan failed to chase down a low total of 120 runs. Even on the slow and tough batting surface of the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York, one expects 120 runs to be chased by a Pakistan side, and especially when they needed 48 runs at run-a-ball with eight wickets in hand.

They were 72/2 in 12 overs, with Fakhar Zaman just smashed Axar Patel for a huge six, but they ended up getting on to 113/7 in their 20 overs, which means that could smash 41/5 in the last eight overs, with a set batter Mohammad Rizwan at the crease till 15 overs.

In a discussion with the Cricbuzz, the former batter Ramiz Raja explains that the 2009 champions should look to bring new players in the side, rather than going back to their old players.

‘You need to start rebuilding after the World Cup. You’ve got to pick those players who can handle pressure and those who have clarity.’ Ramiz Raja elaborated. ‘And I think not all of them, but I just feel that there is no need to bring out players from their retirements.’

Babar Azam failed to take his team to the semifinal of the last ODI World Cup in 2023 in India with some struggling performances, which also included that defeat against Afghanistan in Chennai.

Following that Babar was removed from the position, as Shaheen Shah Afridi, the experienced left-arm pacer of the team was given the duties. Following more series losses, PCB decided to bring their old captain back in the position.

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Ramiz Raja denies the fact that the retired players should not return to the team to play, no matter how badly the team struggles in the formats of the game.

‘By asking all these retirees to come back, you are actually neglecting the good work that’s been done at the first class or the age group levels.’ The 61-year-old Ramiz Raja expressed in the chat with Cricbuzz. ‘It gives an impression as if there is no new talent that can come and help Pakistan cricket. You are unretiring players to help Pakistan cricket. That is not done. It’s a backward move.’

Pakistan have made a tough road for them in the rest of the tournament, as they now need to win both of their last two games against Canada and Ireland, and also hope one of the USA and India go on to lose both their games, and even if they win, the net run rate (NRR) will come into the scenario.