Kamran Akmal, Pakistan veteran former wicketkeeper-batsman has reacted to rumours of Ramiz Raja being in the mix to become PCB’s chairman. With Ehsan Mani’s tenure as chairman likely to end soon, Ramiz Raja is one of the prime contenders for the job. Kamran Akmal expects Ramiz Raja to lift Pakistan cricket to big heights should he take the post.
It was reported that Ehsan Mani will meet Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday (August 23) as convened by the latter’s wishes. Ehsan Mani’s time in the position ends a couple of days after that. But he intends to retain the spot moving forward, adding to his three years of service.
Kamran Akmal: A Cricketer Coming In As A Chairman Would Benefit Domestic Cricket And Benefit Players Financially
Speaking to Cricket Pakistan, Kamran Akmal recognized that Ramiz Raja’s hiatus from commentary duties could be a signal about his immediate future. The 39-year old feels a cricketer becoming the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman will benefit the players on all fronts since he has previously served as the national team’s skipper as well.
“He hasn’t been going for commentary duties in the last couple of series and that gave us some signals for the future. A cricketer coming in as a chairman would benefit domestic cricket. It will bring in money.
“There was a lot of talk about bringing in money by commercialising so that players get money. Ramiz (Raja) bhai coming in will benefit players financially. Maybe the teams might improve as well. Management might get better as well because he has been a captain himself.”
Akmal added: “Cricket doesn’t improve at the international level. If you want good cricketers, you have to make them at the grassroot level. Unfortunately, no one has been paying attention to it in the recent past. This is why cricketers at the lower level are ignored. We have all seen how sensitive he (Ramiz Raja) is regarding cricket with his words. It is time to walk the talk now.”
Ramiz Raja has played 57 Tests and 198 ODIs. He represented Pakistan (sometimes as captain) during the 1980s and the 1990s. Since retiring from cricket, he has been a commentator in international cricket matches. Ramiz Raja played international cricket for 13 years, appearing in 57 Test matches, with a career average of 31.83 and scoring two centuries.
In the One Day International arena, he played 198 matches and scored 9 centuries. He was a member of the national side that reached the semi-finals of the 1987 World Cup and played a pivotal role in Pakistan’s 1992 World cup win. Ramiz Raja didn’t respond to calls and messages but media reports said that Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also patron-in-chief of the board has decided against giving Ehsan Mani an extension after his term ends this month.
Kamran Akmal : Ramiz Raja Has Been In The PCB In The Past
Kamran Akmal further stated that Ramiz Raja has previously been in the PCB and brought some transformations as well. The 39-year old pointed out that the cricketer-turned-commentator often pointed out the ways of planning and how development must take place. Thus, Kamran Akmal predicts Ramiz Raja to make better decisions if he becomes the chairman and raises the graph of the Pakistan cricket team.
“He has been in the PCB in the past. He made region cricket and changed the system from division cricket. There is a new system now that was the Prime Minister’s vision. We have always heard him talking about how the team should plan, become mentally strong and develop.
“When he comes in as chairman, he will have an opportunity and would want to see how to raise the graph of our cricket team. This will happen if he makes correct decisions and looks after cricket.”
Pakistan has been one of the most inconsistent teams in recent times. They have some world-class players in their ranks but have failed to sufficiently move forward. The batting line-up sans captain Babar Azam has remained a consistent issue across formats in recent times.
Apparently, Imran Khan, himself a former captain under whom Ramiz Raja played the 1992 World Cup, feels it is time a former player runs the cricket affairs in the country. Another source said Ehsan Mani had also expressed reluctance to continue for another term due to health issues.