Ramiz Raja | Sportzwiki

Ramiz Raja

Waqar Younis. (Image Credits: Getty)
Waqar Younis. (Image Credits: Getty)
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Waqar Younis Opens Up On Reasons Behind His Resignation As Pakistan Bowling Coach Before 2021 T20I WC

Waqar Younis, former Pakistan bowling coach has elaborated on his abrupt resignation from the role. Waqar Younis and head coach Misbah-Ul-Haq stunned the global cricketing fraternity by stepping down after selectors announced Pakistan’s squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup where experienced campaigners like Shoaib Malik, Faheem Ashraf, and Wahab Riaz were omitted.

Waqar Younis earlier revealed that it made no sense for him to stay after Misbah-Ul-Haq decided to walk away. The former Pakistan skipper opined that they quit their roles before the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) fired them.

Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis- Former Pakistan Coaches (AFP)
Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis- Former Pakistan Coaches (AFP)

Waqar Younis Quit As Pakistan Bowling Coach For Spending Time With Family And Appointment Of Ramiz Raja Also Was A Part Behind The Decision

Waqar Younis stated that spending more time with family was one of the significant reasons behind his resignation. The 49-year old further claimed it was better to step down before the management under new Chairman Ramiz Raja installed a new setup.
Ramiz Raja is a former Pakistani cricketer currently serving as the 36th Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board. Ramiz Raja represented Pakistan during the 1980s and the 1990s. Since retiring from cricket, he has been a commentator on International cricket matches.

“There were two to three reasons behind my decision. Obviously, spending time with family was one of them which was becoming difficult due to Covid-19. Also, after the appointment of new PCB chairman [Ramiz Raja], the wise thing was to reign because it seemed as if he [Raja] wanted to bring a new setup. So, when Misbah resigned, I decided to follow suit,” Younis told Cricket Pakistan.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Waqar Younis continued by saying there could have been bigger repercussions if he hadn’t stepped down as new people tend to have a different way of doing things.

“If we would not have taken this decision, a bigger problem would have been created. There could have been a controversy. I have enough experience to understand the cricket board and its history. When a new setup takes over, they have their own way of doing things and taking all of that into account it was a sensible thing to do.”

Waqar Younis and Misbah-ul-Haq both had a year still left in their tenures, having taken charge in September 2019. However, the pressure on them was mounting after Pakistan had endured plenty of crushing overseas losses under their reign.
Pakistan has been in an excellent run of form in 2021 as they started off with two consecutive home and away series wins against South Africa. They won the next T20I series against Zimbabwe as well but couldn’t get past the line in England where they lost the series 1-2. Their previous series against West Indies ended in their favour as well with a 1-0 win in the four-match rain-hit series.

Waqar Younis Also Backed Pakistan’s Bowling Attack To Thrive In 2021 T20I WC

Waqar Younis also backed Pakistan’s bowling attack to thrive in the upcoming 2021 T20 World Cup. As for the blockbuster clash against India, the former bowler urged his countrymen cricketers to have the self-belief to have any chance of winning.

“[A] World Cup is a small tournament and if your players are in form and luck favours you, the team can go all the way. Our bowling can defend any total and, if we can fix some of the issues in our batting, this team has the potential to go all the way. If the team plays to their potential, I think they will challenge the Indian team and even beat them. They should play positive cricket and believe that they can beat India.”

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

India and Pakistan will open their World Cup campaign against each other in Dubai on the 24th of October. It’s worth noting that the Men in Green are yet to beat their arch-rivals in a World Cup game in 12 encounters across the T20I and 50-over editions.

But, rather than the record against their arch-rivals, Pakistan will be more worried about their lack of match practice ahead of the forthcoming T20 World Cup. It is to be noted that New Zealand recently called off their white-ball tour to Pakistan due to security reasons and England looks likely to follow suit. New Zealand was supposed to play 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is and England -2 T20Is in Pakistan.

On the bowling side of things, youngster Shaheen Shah Afridi will be the biggest factor. Notably, Pakistan has won 4 out of the last 5 T20I series they have played. So far Pakistan has won one T20 World Cup trophy back in 2009 by defeating Sri Lanka by 8 wickets at the Home of cricket Lord’s Cricket Ground, London. They will have an eye on winning the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP
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New Zealand’s Pakistan Pullout: ‘Five Eyes’ Security Alert Caused NZC To Cancel Pakistan Tour

New Zealand pulled out of their Pakistan tour even before play started in the 1st ODI in Rawalpindi. The Kiwis left Islamabad on a charter flight on Saturday night. The Pakistan tour was Black Cap’s first tour to the Asian country since 2003 and it was made possible after receiving clearance from their security agency.

The toss for the 1st ODI between the two teams was delayed as both teams were advised to stay in their hotel rooms after which news came in that the NZC board had issued an official statement that they were abandoning the tour for security concerns.

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021
Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021. Image Credits: Twitter

New Zealand’s Pakistan Pullout: ‘Five Eyes’ Security Alert Caused NZ Cricket Board To Cancel Pak Tour: Report

A global intelligence alliance issued the security alert which led to the cancellation of the Black Caps’ cricket tour to Pakistan as per a published report. The publication said citing overseas media that the intelligence came from “Five Eyes”, an intelligence alliance of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the US, and the UK.

The report stated that the threat issued by Five Eyes prompted the teleconference between Pakistan and New Zealand Prime Ministers Imran Khan and Jacinda Ardern. Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had claimed that there is a “conspiracy” behind the cancellation of New Zealand’s 2021 cricket tour to Pakistan.

New Zealand, who were all set to play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003, on Friday informed that they are abandoning their tour following a government security alert.

“However, following an escalation in the NZ Government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from NZC security advisors on the ground, it has been decided the BLACKCAPS will not continue with the tour,” NZC said in a statement on Friday.

Pakistan and New Zealand Prime Ministers Imran Khan and Jacinda Ardern. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
‘Five Eyes’ security alert caused NZ cricket board to cancel Pak tour: Report

New Zealand made headlines around the world when the cricket team called off its bilateral ODI and T20 series minutes before the toss for the first ODI between the two sides was scheduled to take place in Rawalpindi. The Black Caps had arrived in Pakistan after 18 years to play a cricket series.

David White Opens Up On Advice Of A Specific And Credible Threat Against Team

Later on Sunday, NZC chief executive David White said they were faced with no option but to abandon the tour after receiving advice from their government of a specific and credible threat.

“What I can say is that we were advised this was a specific and credible threat against the team. We had several conversations with New Zealand government officials before making the decision and it was after informing the PCB of our position that we understand a telephone discussion was conducted between the respective Prime Ministers,” said White in an official statement.

Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, during a press conference in Islamabad on Friday, refused to name the country responsible for the conspiracy behind NZ’s pullout. However, he termed the cancellation as an attempt to damage Pakistan’s efforts for peace in the region.

New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White during a press conference. Photo: File
New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White during a press conference. Photo: File

The minister said the New Zealand team’s security in-charge spoke to government officials and informed them of an intermittent threat. When the Pakistani officials asked to reveal details, the NZ security in charge “did not have any”, Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed added.

Reacting to the cancellation, newly-elected Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja lashed out at New Zealand Cricket (NZC) for taking a ‘unilateral approach’ on security as a threat. New Zealand abandoned their tour of Pakistan just before the start of the first ODI over a security threat that led to a massive backlash on social media, especially from current and former Pakistan players and the team’s fans.

Ramiz Raja too had expressed his disappointment on Friday, saying that New Zealand will hear Pakistan at the ICC meetings. He told the Pakistan cricketers selected in the World cup squad to take out whatever “anger or frustration”, they might have, through their performances and asked the fans to be the team’s strength at the forthcoming T20 World Cup.

New Zealand was scheduled to play three ODIs in Rawalpindi starting Friday (September 17) before the series shifted to Lahore for a five-match T20I series, but the entire tour now stands unilaterally postponed following the visitors’ expression of concern.

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
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Impossible Right Now: Ramiz Raja Opens Up On Resumption Of Pakistan And India Bilateral Series

Ramiz Raja, the newly-elected Pakistan Cricket Board chairman on Monday said the resumption of bilateral assignments with India is “impossible right now” and he is “not in a hurry” for it either as his focus is solely on his country’s domestic circuit at this point.

The 59-year-old, who formally took over on Monday after being elected unanimously, also acknowledged that being chairman of the PCB is one of the toughest jobs in cricket.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Ramiz Raja Opens Up On Resumption Of Pakistan And India Bilateral Series: Impossible Right Now

Ramiz Raja, a member of the 1992 World Cup-winning Pakistan team under Pakistan’s current Prime Minister Imran Khan’s leadership, has played 57 Tests and 198 ODIs from which he scored a total of 8674 international runs with 53 fifties and 11 hundred.

“It is a very big challenge and a lot of boxes had to be ticked before the prime minister (Imran Khan) decided to give me this tough job,” he said in a press conference here.

Asked about the possibility of revival of bilateral series between Pakistan and India, Raja said, “Impossible right now…”

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“…because the sporting model has been spoiled by politics and right now it is a status quo and we are not in a hurry on this issue because we have to focus on our domestic and local cricket,” he added.

The last time India and Pakistan faced each other was in the round-robin stage of the 2019 ODI World Cup, where the former won by 89 runs (DLS method). Their last T20 World Cup face-off resulted in India’s 6-wicket win over Men in Green in Kolkata in the 2016 edition.
However, due to the unfortunate political situation, the two teams haven’t played a bilateral series since 2012-13. Pakistan and India’s last bilateral ties at either of the two neighbouring countries were 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs in India way back in 2012.

Ramiz Raja Wants Pakistan To Play Fearless Cricket

He also expressed his displeasure over the development that there would be no Decision Review System in the upcoming Pakistan and New Zealand white-ball series in Rawalpindi and Lahore.

“Yes there is no doubt that this DRS issue reflects a mess and I will look into this matter,” he said.

Ramiz Raja expressed his reservations over the standard of coaching in the country and said there was a dire need to improve the local infrastructure in the country.

When asked whether he would allow the board CEO, Wasim Khan, to carry on, Ramiz Raja made it clear that he would not discuss internal matters of the body in public. However, he claimed that if it came down to proper accountability 90 per cent of the functionaries deserved to be sacked from the board.

Ramiz Raja was also asked about the India-Pakistan match in the coming T20 World Cup in Dubai. The game is due on October 24.

“It is a show stopper and when I met with the Pakistan team players I told them I want the tables to be turned this time and the team must be 100 per cent operational for the match and to do well in it,” he said.
India has not lost to Pakistan in any World Cup, be it in the ODI or T20I format. India has an 11-0 record versus their arch-rivals in limited-overs ICC tournaments.
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

The new PCB Chairman also said that he wants the national team to play fearless cricket.

“We must be prepared to face problems and also lose matches but I have told the players they shouldn’t worry about being secure about their places in the team and play fearless cricket. I know we will face more failures than success when we go on this path but we have to do it if we are to become relevant in world cricket. Because this is a process and we need to change the mindset of our players as well.”

Ramiz Raja is Pakistan’s 18th Test and 12th ODI captain and played 255 international matches in which he scored 8,674 runs in the period from 1984 to 1997. He has previously served the PCB as its Chief Executive from 2003-2004 and has represented Pakistan on the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee and presently sits on the MCC World Cricket Committee. After retirement, he has been a successful broadcaster.

Vernon Philander Getty Images (File Photo)
Vernon Philander Getty Images (File Photo)
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Vernon Philander Looking Forward To Start His Coaching Stint With Pakistan In T20I World Cup 2021

Vernon Philander, a former South African seamer is looking forward to starting his coaching stint with Pakistan. Newly-elected PCB chairman Ramiz Raja recently announced Vernon Philander and Matthew Hayden’s appointments as coaching consultants for the T20 World Cup.

Vernon Philander and Matthew Hayden will join the coaching staff only for the upcoming showpiece event. There was some uncertainty surrounding the Pakistan cricket team after Misbah-Ul-Haq and Waqar Younis resigned from their coaching roles.

Matthew Hayden and Vernon Philander
Matthew Hayden and Vernon Philander have been appointed as Pakistan’s coaches for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Vernon Philander Couldn’t Turn Down Opportunity To Join Pakistan Team Even Though He Has No Formal Coaching Experience

“Ramiz obviously called me up and asked if I was interested in joining the Pakistan team. It is a huge opportunity, which I couldn’t turn down. It’s also really exciting to work with a group of skillful youngsters. Mohammad Hasnain is a really talented young bowler, and of course, there’s the big guy Shaheen Shah Afridi. I saw quite a bit of them during the recent series against South Africa and I am really excited to be working with them.”

Vernon Philander, South Africa
Vernon Philander [Image-Getty]

Vernon Philander was one of the most successful new-ball bowlers for South Africa in Test cricket. He retired from internationals in 2020 after taking 224 Test wickets in 64 matches at 22.32 apiece. However, the veteran has played only seven T20Is and 123 T20 games, the last of which was in December of 2019.

Vernon Philander, who called time on his International career in early 2020 following the home Test series against England, is the fastest to take 50 and 100 Tests wickets in South African history. Having played a total of 64 Tests, the ‘Big Vern’ finished with 224 wickets at an average of 22.32. He picked 41 scalps in 30 ODIs at an average of 24.04 and 4 scalps in 7 T20Is averaging 28.5.

 Vernon Philander Thinks He Can Add Value In Bringing Consistency To Young Pakistan Attack

Vernon Philander said he hopes to inject some discipline and consistency into Pakistan’s inexperienced bowling attack. The former Proteas cricketer believes wanting to express themselves by playing freely is what makes Pakistan an exciting outfit.

“It’s international cricket. There is always pressure, no matter which team you are a part of. I would like to think that I can add value in terms of bringing some form of consistency to this young attack. They are an exciting group and they also want to head in a direction where they play an attacking brand of cricket which is exciting to be a part of.”

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistan is currently preparing for the white-ball series against England and New Zealand at home. Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq will serve as their interim coaches of the team. Led by Babar Azam, the 2009 champions will open their World T20 campaign against India in Dubai on October 24.

Pakistan national cricket team is placed in Group B of the T20 World Cup 2021 alongside teams like New Zealand, Afghanistan, and India. Notably, they will start their campaign facing arch-rivals India national cricket team that will be led by Virat Kohli, on 24 October 2021.

On the bowling side of things, youngster Shaheen Shah Afridi will be the biggest factor. Notably, Pakistan has won 4 out of the last 5 T20I series they have played. So far Pakistan has won one T20 World Cup trophy back in 2009 by defeating Sri Lanka by 8 wickets at Lord’s, London.

They will have an eye on winning the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 in United Arab Emirates (UAE). Meanwhile, before heading into the World Cup they will be facing New Zealand and England in the white ball series.

Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP
Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP
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It’s Not An Ideal Situation For Pakistan After Resignation From Misbah-ul-Haq And Waqar Younis Before T20I World Cup: Shadab Khan

Shadab Khan, Pakistan’s white-ball vice-captain admits the situation arising out of the sudden resignation of head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis was not ideal but the team was trying to shun any negative thoughts as important events are coming up.
The Pakistan Cricket Board on Monday announced that Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis have resigned and that former Pakistan Test players, Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq would be interim coaches for the time being.
Pakistan coaching unit - comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)
Pakistan coaching unit – comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)

Shadab Khan: It’s Not An Ideal Situation For Pakistan As Two Coaches Step Down Before T20I World Cup

The Pakistan Cricket Board on Monday announced that Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis have resigned and that former Pakistan Test players, Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq would be interim coaches for the time being.

The sudden changes coincide with the induction of former Test captain Ramiz Raja as the new PCB chairman on September 13. Ramiz Raja on his YouTube channel and as a commentator and analyst has maintained that he does not believe Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis are the best coaches for the Pakistan team.

“I can’t comment on their decision but yes we as a team are trying to ensure that no negativity creeps into our camp because of recent happenings because it is not an ideal situation for us,” Shadab Khan said.

“Our focus is on doing the things that are in our control in the right manner. We don’t want to think about the what-ifs of the situation. With the T20 World Cup approaching, our focus is to prepare ourselves for it,” said the 22-year-old Shadab Khan.

Shadab Khan (File Photo)
Shadab Khan (File Photo)

Pakistan host New Zealand in a limited-overs series of three ODIs and five T20Is beginning on September 17 and then heads to the T20 World Cup beginning in the UAE from October 17. Shadab Khan said there’s no guarantee of success in international cricket.

“Look, we can do our best to prepare for a situation but there is no guarantee about success or failure. It is the same with every team,” said the seasoned all-rounder, who is deputy to Babar Azam.

“We are trying to play modern-day cricket and be aggressive and selfless in our approach to the game but we will also face failures in this and I think we need to accept that.”
Shadab Khan praised Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, saying that he had always backed the national squad. Speaking about the transformation needed in the Pakistan squad, the vice-captain said it wouldn’t be an issue as “aggression is on our DNA.”

Shadab Khan: It Would Have Been Good If New Zealand Had Sent Their Full Strength Squad To Pakistan

Shadab Khan, a member of the Pakistan squad that won the Champions Trophy in 2017, said it would have been good if New Zealand had sent their full-strength squad to Pakistan for the upcoming three ODI and five T20I series as it would have meant more competitive cricket going into the T20 World Cup.

“But what we have to realize is that this is their national team and it has eight to nine players who have played for them in ODI cricket and even T20 matches and we are not going to underestimate them at all. That would be a mistake.”

New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)
New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)
Tom Latham will lead New Zealand in the absence of Kane Williamson on their white-ball tours of Pakistan and Bangladesh starting September. The opener will stand in as leader on both tours across white-ball formats. Several first-team players, including Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and Lockie Ferguson will be unavailable owing to their involvement in the IPL, which clashes with part of the tour.
Bangladesh won 3 T20Is while New Zealand won a solitary T20I. The 5th T20I will be played on 10th September.
Squad for Bangladesh T20Is and Pakistan ODIs: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Finn Allen, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry (ODI only), Scott Kuggeleijn, Cole McConchie, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears (T20 only), Blair Tickner, Will Young.
Squad for Pakistan T20Is: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Finn Allen, Todd Astle, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Mark Chapman, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Ajaz Patel, Ish Sodhi, Ben Sears, Blair Tickner, Will Young.
Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower prepares to reverse sweep ©Reuters
Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower prepares to reverse sweep ©Reuters
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Andy Flower Decides Against Coaching Pakistan Due To His Busy Commitments For T20 Leagues

Andy Flower, former Zimbabwe cricketer and renowned coach has decided against coaching the Pakistan team due to his busy schedule. According to sources, the previous Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) regime led by Chairman Ehsan Mani were looking to replace the current Head Coach, Misbah-ul Haq, with Andy Flower, after Pakistan’s recent T20I series defeat against England.

Andy Flower, who is the head coach of PSL franchise Multan Sultans, CPL’s Saint Lucia Kings, T10’s Delhi Bulls, The Hundred’s Trent Rockets while also being the assistant coach of IPL side Punjab Kings, has told the PCB that he is not interested in coaching any international side, at the moment, as he is more inclined towards franchise cricket.

Andy Flower
Andy Flower (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Andy Flower’s Refusal Makes Task Of Appointing A Foreign Coach Harder

After Andy Flower’s refusal, the task of appointing a foreign coach for the Pakistan team has become difficult. Despite Ehsan Mani’s exit, Misbah-ul-Haq is not in the good books of the PCB as the likely new Chairman Ramiz Raja is also in favour of appointing a foreign coach. Although sources added that Misbah-ul-Haq’s removal is unlikely to take place before this year’s T20 World Cup, due to lack of time for the new coach to adjust before the mega event.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Misbah-ul-Haq was appointed as the head coach and chief selector in September 2019, with strong backing from Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wasim Khan. The PCB’s top brass considered Misbah-ul-Haq a ‘yes man’, however, that was not the case which strained relations between the two parties. Misbah-ul-Haq is likely to keep his job till the conclusion of the 2021 T20 World Cup.

Andy Flower was the mainstay of the Zimbabwe side for more than a decade and represented the Zimbabwe cricket team in 63 Tests, and 213 ODI matches. While he amassed 4794 runs in the longest format at an excellent average of 51.55, he also plundered 6786 runs in the ODI format of the game at an average in excess of 35. He has scored 16 centuries in both Tests and ODIs put together.

Misbah-ul-Haq’s Tenure Has Been Far From Ideal

Misbah-ul-Haq had voiced his opinion on various matters which did not go down well with the PCB officials. He was also part of the contingent, including cricketers Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez, which met Prime Minister Imran Khan and expressed their reservations over the new domestic system. That meeting was the start of Misbah-ul-Haq’s downfall as, soon after, he stepped down as the chief selector in October last year.

Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP
Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP

Pakistan’s performance during Misbah-ul-Haq’s tenure has been far from ideal, winning 16 and losing 13 matches out of 34, as the team slipped from first to the fourth position in the ICC T20 Rankings. He was also instrumental in removing wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed as captain, which disturbed the team’s combination. Apart from a second-string South Africa team, Pakistan was not able to register wins against top sides.

As far as Test cricket is concerned, Pakistan has won seven, lost six, and drew three out of 16 matches. Their current ranking is number five in the longest format of the game. Meanwhile, in ODI cricket, Pakistan won six out of 11 matches while losing on four occasions whereas one match ended in a tie. They are currently ranked sixth in 50-over cricket and were recently whitewashed, three-nil, by a second-string England side.

At present, Flower is associated with multiple teams as a coach, he is the head coach of Multan Sultans (PSL), St Lucia Kings (CPL), Trent Rockets (The Hundred) and assistant coach of Punjab Kings (IPL).

Andy Flower’s denial to take the position of the head coach will be a difficult task for PCB to recruit a foreign coach that also when the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is not even two months away. If we believe some sources, then Misbah-ul-Haq’s removal is unlikely to take place at least before the T20 World Cup this year.

Misbah-ul-Haq was appointed as the head coach and chief selector in September 2019, with strong backing from Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wasim Khan. Later in October 2020, he stepped down from the selector’s role and purely is focused on coaching the team.

Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez
Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez Photo: AFP
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Both Mohammed Hafeez And Shoaib Malik Deserve Chance In T20I World Cup, Says Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi called for people to be elevated on merit from within the cricket board. The former skipper was also of the view that Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik should be given a chance, as the team “needs them”.

Ramiz Raja, the former Pakistan cricketer has taken over the charge as Chairman of PCB and there have been varied reactions over the same. Some reports added that Ramiz Raza is having a great bond with Indians and it might revive the bilateral series between the two nations.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Ramiz Raja Should Ensure Capable Cricketers Are Picked Based On Merit: Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi made it a point that Pakistan has a lot of talent but it needs to be groomed. He added that a capable person should take the same charge and Ramiz Raja has all the potential to manage the responsibility. The only thing he wants from the new authorities is that Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik should get a chance in the upcoming T20 WC.

“PCB Chairman should be a capable person as Ramiz Raja is but the main decision for him will be to take on people who have sincere intentions for this country and PCB, and are good quality professionals – Only such people can run an institution like PCB where capable people are appointed based on merit. With such people in place, the PCB will rise to greater heights. We have a lot of talent but it needs to be groomed,” said Afridi while speaking to the Press.

Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League
Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League

In the latest turn of events, Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi stated that a change in the chairman’s post was necessary and he has even extended his wishes to Ramiz Raja for taking up the chair.

Shahid Afridi: Both Mohammed Hafeez And Shoaib Malik Served Pakistan Well In The Past And Deserves Chance In T20I World Cup

Shahid Afridi added that team needs a lot of change when it comes to selection. Pakistan’s great players like Mohammed Hafeez and Shoaib Malik have done a lot for the team in the past and it might be Shoaib Malik’s last ICC World Cup too. Therefore, Shahid Afridi awaits what decision would be taken about them with context to T20 World Cup 2021.

“We tried a lot of things when it comes to team selection, where we tried out and gave chances to young players from whom we had a lot of expectations but they couldn’t perform. So, this is the last time Shoaib Malik will play in an ICC World Cup, so let’s give him chance. Both Hafeez and Malik have served this nation well in the past and it’s not as if we don’t have a need for them as I feel Pakistan needs them so let’s see what decision is taken about them for the upcoming T20 World Cup,” he added.

Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez PHOTO: AFP
Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez PHOTO: AFP

In the build-up to the 2021 T20 World Cup, Pakistan’s middle-order has misfired. Apart from Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, there hasn’t been a major contributor. Several youngsters have been given opportunities but they’ve failed to deliver, and Afridi wants Pakistan to consider Mohammed Hafeez and Shoaib Malik instead.

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
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Ramiz Raja All Set To Be The New Chairman Of Pakistan Cricket Board

Ramiz Raja is all set to be the new chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The decision follows a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, who gave the go-ahead for the change of guard at the PCB. Ramiz Raja will replace Ehsan Mani once the succession process is complete.

Both Ramiz Raja and Ehsan Mani met the Prime Minister on Monday (August 23) afternoon. After the meeting Ramiz Raja, a former Pakistan captain said that he had given Imran Khan his plans and the PM will make a call and decided to wait to hear from the PM’s office. Eventually, the decision was made three days later.

Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja will meet with Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan today to discuss his probable appointment as chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after Ehsan Mani's tenure ends.
Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja met with Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan to discuss his probable appointment as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after Ehsan Mani’s tenure ends.

Ramiz Raja All Set To Be the New Chairman Of The Pakistan Cricket Board

Ramiz Raja confirmed that he has accepted the job as an official of the PCB confirmed that Ehsan Mani was no longer chairman of the board as his tenure ended on August 25.

“The aim is to reset Pakistan cricket’s GPS and will be in pursuit of excellence,” Raja, who was also a Chief Executive Officer of PCB said on Thursday (August 26).

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Meanwhile, Imran Khan is understood to have asked Ehsan Mani – whose three-year term ended on Wednesday – to ensure a smooth transition of power. Ramiz Raja, a member of the 1992 World Cup-winning Pakistan team under Imran Khan’s leadership, has played 57 Tests and 198 ODIs from which he scored a total of 8674 international runs with 53 fifties and 11 hundred.

Ehsan Mani, 76 Years Old, Is Seen As Too Old For The Job As Chairman

Ehsan Mani (76), an experienced hand in cricket administration, both at the PCB and the International Cricket Council (ICC), was seen as too old for the job, which necessitated high amounts of energy, particularly at the ICC forum, where the PCB is left with very few friends.
Also, Ehsan Mani’s constant posturing against the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), a powerful body at the ICC, did not leave him with too many friends in India. On the other hand, Ramiz Raja has no shortage of friends in India, which is an advantage for him.
Sourav Ganguly (Source: File Photo)
Sourav Ganguly (Source: File Photo)

However, Ramiz Raja’s appointment will entail a bit of a process. His name first will be forwarded to the Board of Governors of the PCB, being one of the two nominees. Following this, there could be an election if another BoG member wants to contest, but normally, a PM’s nominee is unlikely to meet any resistance.

When nominated by Imran Khan three years ago, Ehsan Mani was elected unopposed. In the same way, Ramiz Raja should find his way to the top position. The second member to be nominated by the Prime Minister is believed to be a noted businessman – Asad Ali Khan. There are seven on the BOG currently – four independent directors, CEO (Wasim Khan), and two nominees of the Prime Minister.

Ramiz Raja is a former chief executive of the PCB and had been in the hot seat when India’s revival tour of Pakistan took place in 2004. Shahryar Khan had been the chairman then. It will be the first time that two former captains are in charge of India and Pakistan’s cricket boards. Sourav Ganguly has been BCCI president since October 2019.

New Zealand and England are slated to tour Pakistan later this year. Ramiz Raja had said that the Babar Azam-led Pakistan side remains highly inconsistent and their ranking in all three formats reflects that they cannot make it to the finals of major tournaments.

Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja will meet with Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan today to discuss his probable appointment as chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after Ehsan Mani's tenure ends.
Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja will meet with Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan today to discuss his probable appointment as chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after Ehsan Mani's tenure ends.
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Ramiz Raja And Ehsan Mani Expected To Meet Pakistan PM Imran Khan

Ramiz Raja, Pakistan’s former cricketer-turned-commentator, is expected to meet the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the Patron-in-Chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Imran Khan, today(23rd August).

The 59-year-old Ramiz Raja is likely to be given the big responsibility of PCB chairman in the near future. The three-year contract of the current chairman of the PCB, Ehsan Mani is set to expire on August 24.

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of ARY Sports

Ehsan Mani Has Also Been Called In To Meet Pakistan PM Imran Khan

Ehsan Mani has also been called in to meet the prime minister today and it is expected that his journey with the PCB is near its end.  Ehsan Mani was set for an extension but that changed when some government officials were left unhappy after the Pakistan team’s disappointing performance on the England tour and mishandling of the Kashmir Premier League (KPL).

An England team, missing most of their star players, whitewashed Pakistan 3-0 in the ODI series. With Ehsan Mani’s tenure as chairman likely to end soon, Ramiz Raja is one of the prime contenders for the job.

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.

Ehsan Mani
Ehsan Mani

According to sources, Prime Minister Imran Khan will recommend two names for the governing board which include Ramiz Raja and Dr Jawad Sajid Khan, chairman of the Lahore Gymkhana. One of these will be elected for the role of PCB chairman. It must be noted that PM Imran Khan has already appointed Justice (r) Azmat Saeed as the election commissioner to hold the PCB chairman elections.

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.

Pakistan Have Been Inconsistent In Limited Overs Cricket

Since the 2019 World Cup, poor selection decisions have seen players drift in and out of limited-overs squads, with few sticking around long enough to show results. Pakistan’s limited-overs squads have gone through numerous changes in the last couple of years.

Since the 2019 World Cup, they have tried 27 players in 11 ODIs and 38 players in 34 T20Is (in the first seven of those games alone, there were 25 different players, and a change in captaincy, though the team was No. 1 in the T20I rankings at the time).

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
A pattern has emerged of too many players being dropped after too few opportunities or despite producing decent results. Much of this has come during the tenures of Misbah-ul-Haq (September 2019 to December 2020) and Mohammad Wasim (since January 2021) as chief selectors. In that time Pakistan has still won more white-ball games than they’ve lost – their win-loss record is 22-18 – but it has been an uneven, unsettled ride.

Pakistan emerged victorious in the rain-hit T20I series against West Indies. Pakistan claimed the four-match T20 series 1-0 after 3 matches were washed out. In the preceding England series, England won the first two ODI matches to win the series with a game to spare.

England then won the third ODI by three wickets to win the series 3–0. Pakistan won the first T20I match by 31 runs but England went on to win the next two matches to win the series 2–1.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
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Ramiz Raja As A PCB Chairman Will Benefit Pakistan Players, Says Kamran Akmal

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.

Ehsan Mani
Ehsan Mani

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.”

Kamran Akmal Photo AFP
Kamran Akmal Photo AFP

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.”

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of ARY Sports

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.

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