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Ramiz Raza,
Ramiz Raja feels India-Pakistan should continue playing to save cricket

Ramiz Raja Slams Pakistan’s Strategy for England and Ireland Tour

Former Pakistan captain turned commentator, Ramiz Raja has raised questions surrounding the selection of the Pakistan squad for the upcoming tour to England and Ireland.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recently announced a 16-member squad that will fly to England and Ireland. The tour starts with a one-off Test against the recently crowned full-members, Ireland from May 11.

Following that, the Pakistan team will play a two-match Test series against Joe Root & Co.

The selection committee headed by Inzamam-ul-Haq has gone for five rookies, who are yet to play Test cricket.

However, this has not gone well with Raja, as he expressed his disappointment on the exclusion of Wahab Riaz. Ramiz believes Riaz is the most successful wicket-taker after leg-spinner Yasir Shah.

Wahab Riaz
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Moreover, Shah misses out with an injury, as young Shadab Khan slots in.

I ask why Riaz is not picked, as he was among the most impressive bowlers in the Pakistan Super League, bowling over 150kmph and reversing the ball.So if there is no Yasir Shah at the disposal, who will take the wickets? I believe the next best choice for Pakistan was Riaz, which they missed out on,” said Raja.

Ali shouldn’t open the innings

Speaking on the batting line, Raja also questioned the selection of Fakhar Zaman in this format. He also admitted that Azhar Ali shouldn’t open the batting because he is the mainstay of Pakistan’s batting.

Image result for fakhar zaman test

Ali shouldn’t open the batting, because if he gets out early, it will create a lot of pressure on the amateur looking batting order, so he should bat at number three.

Meanwhile, trying out Zaman as an opener in English conditions is a bad idea, because Zaman’s batting is weak under the seam-friendly conditions in England.  If we want to introduce Zaman as an opener he should be used in the local Asian conditions first,” he added.

Pakistan under the leadership of Sarfraz Ahmed will play the Test against Ireland in Dublin. Following that they will play in Lords and Headingley against England. It will be a real challenge for the visitors with so many players in their ranks.

Rameez Raja Asks ICC To Create Test Window, Questions MS Dhoni Grade- A Contract

With the meteoric rise of T20 cricket threatening the popularity of Test cricket, former Pakistan cricketer Rameez Raja has urged International Cricket Council (ICC) to set aside a two-month window solely for Test matches.

The popularity of the oldest format of the game has been on steady decline in the last decade or so and with the proliferation of T20 tournaments across the globe with traditional powerhouses South Africa and England also gearing up to start IPL-like competitions, the scene is only getting tougher for the 5-day cricket to regain its old glory.

The ICC has announced its plans of holding a Test Championship which has been in the pipeline for long but with not every country supporting the plan as of now, nothing concrete has come out so far. But Rameez Raja feels the governing body has got a decent plan for the betterment of Test cricket and has advised the apex body to set aside a window solely for it.

“I feel that the ICC has a decent plan in the shape of the World Test Championship,” Sport24 quoted Raja as saying after a committee meeting at Lord’s on Tuesday (July 4).

“There should be a window for that and everything else should stop for a period of two months so the best players are available to play Test cricket,” he added.

Citing the examples of Test cricket’s deteriorating popularity in Asian countries because of T20 leagues, Rameez further said: “It’s got to get better. In Asia, for example, because of poor Test match scheduling, the interest is dwindling,”

“When you go back home you are never sure if you are going to have a one-Test series, a two-Test series or whether you are going to have a Test series at all,” added the player who is a member of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

He further urged the cricket boards such as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to play an active part in preserving the status of the traditional format of the gentlemen’s game.

“You have to acknowledge and respect the status of Test match cricket and it has to come from the cricket boards, in Asia specifically,” said Raja.

To prove his point that the status of Test cricket has lost its sheen in Asian countries, the 54-year old cited MS Dhoni and Shahid Afridi’s examples who were given grade A contracts by their respective cricket boards despite retiring from the longest format of the game.

“For example, MS Dhoni retired from Test cricket yet got the A-grade contract from the BCCI, Shahid Afridi retired from Test cricket yet got the A-grade contract from PCB. It is under a lot of stress in Asia but if we have a properly planned Test match championship, that’s the way out of this, otherwise we will be struggling to put aside as much money as is available for the T20 leagues,” he said.

Rameez also feels that introduction of cricket in Olympics will boost its popularity as new nations will be tempted to take up the sport. The MCC World Cricket Committee,  which met in London earlier this week, has asked the ICC to try and get cricket included for the 2024 Olympics.

“It is crucial to have cricket in the Olympics because the game will be introduced to many new parts of the world,” said Rameez.“But for that to happen we have to present a unified front from cricket that we want to be included in the Games.”


Ramiz Raja,
Ramiz Raja. Twitter

Ramiz Raja Slams Imran Khan For ‘Phateechar’ Comment On Foreign Recruits Of PSL

Former Pakistan player Ramiz Raja, on Tuesday, slammed Imran Khan for his infamous statement regarding Pakistan Super League (PSL) foreign recruits for the final, which was held at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, when he called the players as ‘phateechar – referred to as‘useless’ and ‘low class’.

While speaking to Shahzeb Khanzada on Geo Tv, the 54-year-old Ramiz has expressed Imran should have supported the cause instead of making such derogatory statements.

“PSL final in Lahore was an event against terrorism. Imran Khan should recognise the small steps being taken for the return of international cricket in Pakistan,” Ramiz told in a Geo News’ programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath.

The Faisalabad-born Ramiz further said Imran should have appreciated the efforts of the country and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in a bid to revive international cricket in Pakistan, which has not witnessed a Test match since 2009 when the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked in Lahore.

“Still in a trance after the PSL final..not because it was a nail biter but because doubt perception and terror were hit for a six!,” Ramiz posted on Twitter.

Imran, who is Pakistan’s Tehreek-I-Insaaf Chief, has drawn criticism from all quarters for his racial comment.

“I didn’t even know the names of the ‘phateechar’ (low-class) players who they were claiming were foreign players,” said Imran. “I think they grabbed some people from Africa and others from elsewhere to claim that they were foreign players. We don’t know who they were,” Imran was quoted by Pakistan media.

Last week, Imran termed holding of the PSL final in Lahore from the country’s cricket governing body Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) complete ‘madness’.

However, the final of the second edition of PSL final was held successfully on March 5 under tight security measures.

No Lessons Were Learnt From Mohammad Amir Saga, Says Ramiz Raja On PSL Fixing

As fixing saga has rocked Pakistan cricket for the second time in the past six years, former Pakistan skipper Ramiz Raja is saddened by the alleged involvement of two international cricketers in match-fixing during the ongoing second edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Friday.

“I wanted to make them (Amir & Co) examples and not take them back into the system. It is a straight forward call for me. I was not in charge of the game. I just gave my opinion. See it has come back to bite us, unfortunately,” Ramiz Raja was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.

Touted as the David Warner’s version of Pakistan, opening batsman Sharjeel Khan and top-order batsman Khalid Latif have both been suspended following their alleged links with bookies in a bid to corrupt the league.

“The PCB’s anti-corruption unit is continuing with inquiries to root out corrupt practices and to safeguard and protect the integrity of the PSL,” PCB statement said.

Both play for PSL franchise Islamabad United under the tutelage of Misbah-ul-Haq.

Earlier, the reports suggested that both players were caught in a raid while holding a meeting with the betting syndicate in Dubai.

“Emotionally and physically, the team has been through hell, to be honest. It is not the greatest preparation coming in to a match,” Islamabad United coach Dean Jones was quoted as saying by the The National newspaper in UAE.

The brand ambassador of PSL, Ramiz has asked to ban the cricketers if found guilty before saying the scandal won’t affect the PSL as a product which has attracted the top pool of foreign cricketers.

“I don’t think it is a setback. We have got the England captain Eoin Morgan here. We have got Brendon McCullum. There is a lot of interest for the PSL,” Ramiz remarked.

The cricketer-turned-commentator Ramiz recalled the repercussions of the Lord’s infamous Test in 2010 when fast bowling duo of Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were banned alongside the then Pakistan skipper Salman Butt.

“We did not want it. Pakistan has gone through hell regarding such situations. One more (scandal) to deal with I guess. No lessons were learnt from the (Mohammad) Aamir saga,” Ramiz added.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) took cognizance of the matter and initiated an inquiry in the involvement of both players for not reporting about the illegal practices.

“We took a pledge at the wonderful opening ceremony (on Thursday). We also stood up for the national anthem. And the very next day this happened. This is horrendous, extremely painful,” Ramiz said.

After Sharjeel and Latif were sent home; Pakistan lanky fast-bowler Mohammad Irfan (Islamabad United), left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar (Quetta Gladiators) and opener Shahzaib Hasan (Karachi Kings) were also questioned by PCB’s Anti-Corruption Unit after their alleged involvement with the betting syndicate.

“We need to study the Big Bash League and even English Country cricket which are more or less corruption free. The Asian region is pretty much affected by this menace,” Ramiz revealed.

However, all three international cricketers have been allowed to play until reports regarding their involvement come to any final conclusion.

The 54-year-old Ramiz also remarked he does not want to see players like Salman Butt and Asif playing international cricket for the country.

“If I was the CEO, I would not have allowed him [Amir] back. There is no way such individuals should be allowed into the game. The game of cricket has to move and we can always have someone to replace him. No one is indispensable. We got it absolutely wrong.” Ramiz rued.

Ramiz expressed the PCB should act strictly over the matter of grave concern.

“This is not a Pakistan-centric issue. We have to join forces to end this menace. We can create an awareness movement, and a healthy environment,” Ramiz concluded.


Cricketers discusses team selection on Facebook

The Indian team selection brought good news for some and bad news for many. Few of them were lucky to get  a place in the Indian team whereas others were unlucky not be part of the squad. Few like Rohit Sharma were quite happy with the selection and  expressed their happiness on social media. Other cricket too joined in to have a chat with him. Here is how it all went:

Cricketers discusses team selection on Facebook 1

*Note: This is a fake FB wall made for entertainment purpose only and should be take  in the same sense.

Ramiz Raja trolls fan on twitter
Rameez Raja trolls fan on twitter

Ramiz Raja opposes two tier test system!

The recent developments surrounding the ICC’s decision to have a two-tier test system in place have met with mixed reactions. While some cricketing bodies have seconded the move to have distinct categories in test cricket, a majority of the cricket boards have clearly opposed the move. The boards opposing the move have mentioned that putting in place such a system is bound to dilute the outlook of test cricket.

Former Pakistan batsman and renowned TV commentator Ramiz Raja was among those who lashed out against the system. Raja backed the BCCI’s guidelines of opposing the recent developments, and he was also backed by former ICC chairperson Ehsan Mani. Raja mentioned that in his recent meeting within the MCC, he clearly spoke against the issue.

“I’m opposed to it, and made this amply clear during the MCC cricket committee meeting recently at Lord’s. In a nutshell, there will be sponsorship issues, as the second tier of teams is bound to be regarded as second-grade, which may dissuade companies to link their businesses to such a circuit,” Raja said in his interaction with TOI.

The former Pakistani skipper added that the low ranked teams would find it difficult to last the five days. “Also, if the lack of context is being quoted as one of the reasons behind a lack of interest and falling standards in Test cricket, then why would anybody want to watch a lowly-ranked set of teams with lesser skills at it over five days? That would, in fact, turn out to be a negative advertisement for Tests and defeat the purpose altogether,” he said.


Mani lauded the BCCI for opposing the move and questioned the commercial factors. “I laud BCCI president Anurag Thakur for not approving this concept. The ICC has bigger issues which must bother it – it must ensure that all the Test playing countries play each other on a regular basis, and pump in more money in countries like Ireland, Afghanistan, and the US, where there is huge potential for the growth of the game.”This idea isn’t commercially viable presently , and should be thrown open for debate to the public, sponsors, media and other stakeholders before it is passed. Test cricket is in good shape in England and Australia, and only needs a boost in the sub-continent,” Mani added.

“If it was in place, perhaps we wouldn’t have seen Pakistan and Sri Lanka play in England this year, and missed out on some quality cricket. Do you want to see only the top four-five countries play against each other, while the rest struggle? I’m not surprised that England and Australia, who had come up with the `Big Three’ concept to wipe out the smaller cricketing nations, have mooted this idea too,” Mani concluded.


Top cricketers who are always trolled on Twitter

The rise of cricket and twitter in India is one thing that has gone hand in hand in past few years. When the IPL was started in the year 2008, then twitter was a new commodity in the market but it rose to prominence in just a few years.

We know that cricket crazy people in India are the best in trolling anyone especially when it comes to cricket, everyone is an expert here. Especially on twitter where every 9 out of 10 users is a cricket fan.

They leave no stone unturned to troll any player and today we have a look at the players who are the best bunnies for the twitter users –

Bangladesh batsman Tamim Iqbal celebrates with style after scoring his first T20 hundred at Dharamsala against Oman.

Tamim Iqbal FB Wall: 10K runs?

Recently in an interview, Bangladesh batsman Tamim Iqbal said that he want to score 10000 runs in any of the formats. He went onto to post this statement on his facebook account. It received a mixed response in the end and finally Tamim removed the post from his timeline.

Let’s see what happened that forced him to do so:

Tamim Iqbal FB Wall: 10K runs? 2

Ramiz Raja questions Pakistan's squad for England tour
Ramiz Raja questions Pakistan's squad for England tour

Ramiz Raja questions Pakistan’s squad for England tour

Pakistan’s recently appointed chief selector Inzamam Ul Haq made some startling decisions for his first assignment as he revealed Pakistan’s squad for the upcoming test series against England away from home. Flamboyant but controversial opener Ahmed Shehzad was axed from the test squad not on the basis of form, but due to a poor attitude. Shehzad was replaced by the 20-year-old opener Sami Aslam.

A day after the squad was named; former Pakistan player and TV commentator Ramiz Raja openly questioned the selectors. Raja was curious to know why youngster Babar Azam wasn’t among the touring party despite doing well in the limited opportunities he got. Azam has shown positive signs in his outings in New Zealand and in UAE against England.

“The selection could have been better as Babar Azam is now an established player and should be in the national squad,” said Ramiz Raja in his interaction with the Express Tribune. “In my view, selectors should look at the overall performances and not just stats, because that would urge players to play selfishly.”

Former batting legend Mohammad Yousuf too warned the side about the challenges of playing in England. “What worries me is that Pakistan’s Test cricket has mainly been restricted to the UAE for the last few years and in England they have a lot at stake to guard their excellent Test record,” said Yousuf. “It is going to be a tough tour for us and our first priority should be to ensure we don’t fold up like Sri Lanka has done in England,” he added.

Yousuf said that he expected the experienced individuals to shoulder the responsibility. “I think Pakistan should do better than Sri Lanka because Younus, Misbah, Azhar and Asad Shafiq all have plenty of experience,” he said. “But, the key will be how quickly they adjust to the English conditions.”

Wasim Akram

Angry Wasim Akram lashes out at former Pakistani players

Pakistan fast bowling great Wasim Akram has lashed out at some former stalwarts who refused to apply for the head coach’s job of the national team because of his involvement in the process of shortlisting the candidates.

Without taking names Akram criticised former Test cricketers, Mohsin Khan, and Aaqib Javed, Akram said he was disappointed to know some former players didn’t  want to apply because they felt the Pakistan Cricket Board had already been advised to appoint a foreign coach by him and another former captain Ramiz Raja.

“What sort of attitude and mindset is this. One former player said I will apply and talk directly to the Chairman. When you have such a mindset how can one expect them to work well with the Pakistan team,” Akram told Geo News channel.

Akram and Ramiz were appointed by the PCB to help it shortlist coaching candidates for the head coach’s position which eventually went t South  African Mickey Arthur, Peter Moores and Australian Stuart Law pulled out of the race.

The former fast bowler ,w hi is now a well-known commentator, said, he had always believed in giving respect to his senior players.

“But even respect is a give and take the thing and one expects to be respected by everyone,” Akram said.

Akram said he and Ramiz had only helped the PCB in shortlisting the candidates.

He confirmed that no high profile Pakistan coach had sent his application through the given channel by the Board. Akram was clearly riled by the statements of Mohsin, who said he wouldn’t apply to his juniors or players with tainted pasts.

“It is shameful but this downslide has not happened overnight. It is a result of the fact that our domestic cricket structure has lost its competitive edge and is not producing quality players for a while now,” Akram said.

Akram said Pakistan should expect a tough time when they tour England this summer.

“Don’t expect them (England) to prepare flat pitches for our batsmen. The Duke ball will seam and swing on grassy pitches and it will be a real test for our batsmen to negotiate the ball,” he said.

Asked about the decision to drop opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad on disciplinary grounds from the list of probable for the national camp being set up ahead of the tour to England, Akram said he didn’t agree with this approach of selectors or the Board.

“If we drop players on purely disciplinary grounds than let me tell you many of our eras would not have even played for Pakistan including myself. I think if a player has a problem it is the job of the team management and captain to deal with it and get him to perform,” he said.

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