This weekend, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) supremo Ramiz Raja made several announcements for the sport in the South Asian nation. The former Pakistan batter listed his achievements since taking over as the chairman of the administrative body, including the resumption of international cricket in the country. Under Ramiz Raja's reign, the Pakistan cricket team has performed exceptionally well, having beaten Australia and the West Indies at home in the last few months. Besides, captain Babar Azam has taken the world by storm, breaking records in almost every match. Babar Azam is currently ranked No.1 in both the ODIs and T20Is and is on his way to achieving the numero uno position in Test cricket. Despite the Pakistan team's impressive performance of late, retired player Tanvir Ahmed wasn't impressed with Ramiz Raja's press conference on Friday as he launched a full-blown rant against the PCB chairman.
“Can you tell me one good thing that Ramiz Raja has done since taking charge? The criteria of team selection and hirings within the PCB are still not based on merit,” Tanvir Ahmed said on his official YouTube channel.
“When Ramiz Raja was elected PCB Chairman, I thought that things will improve but that has not been the case so far. He is also like his predecessors who is passing time rather than working for the betterment of Pakistan cricket,” he alleged.
“Instead of holding a Junior PSL, chairman should have focused on organizing two-day or three-day tournaments. He is going to destroy Pakistan cricket with such decisions,” Tanvir Ahmed claimed.
“The youngsters will think that they don’t need to play long-form cricket and instead focus on hitting sixes. This mentality will not affect under-19 cricket but also under-13 cricket and their families due to the money involved,” he added. “People all over the world are saying that T20 cricket has destroyed Test cricket but our chairman is trying to organize Junior PSL.”
Earlier, Ramiz Raja had spoken against the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) proposal to extend the window for the Indian Premier League (IPL) to two and a half months.
“There has been no announcement or decision as yet on the IPL window being increased. I will give my views on this issue at the ICC conference,” Raja had said during a media conference in Lahore on Friday.
“My point is clear: if there is any development in world cricket that means we are being short-changed, we will challenge it in a very forceful manner and put our point across strongly in the ICC,” he said.
Ramiz Raja also pointed out that the PCB was interested in reviving bilateral cricket with India, it was a decision that could only be taken by the governments of both the nations.
“I have spoken to Saurav (Ganguly) on the sidelines on this and I told him that presently there are three former cricketers heading their cricket boards and if they can't make a difference who will?,” Raja said.
“Twice Ganguly has invited me to attend the IPL finals last year and this year and cricketing wise it made sense to go, but then, because of the situation, we had to look at the fallout of accepting the invitations,” he stated.
Before Ramiz Raja's revelation, former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif had mentioned that the Babar Azam-led side was better than India at the moment.
“India is no doubt a good team, but there’s no example of the way Pakistan is currently playing cricket,” Rashid Latif was quoted as saying by the Cricket Pakistan website. “Pakistan has players like Shaheen Shah Afridi, Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan who are currently named as the best players by the ICC.”
India and Pakistan are set to lock horns in the Asia Cup later this year before their blockbuster clash in the T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November.
This year's Asia Cup will feature the T20 format, and India have a commanding record against Pakistan in the shortest version of the game. While India may have lost against their neighbors in the T20 World Cup in UAE last year, they have beaten them seven times out of the nine they have come up against each other in T20Is.
The Asia Cup is scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka from August 27 to September 11.
“I am hopeful for Pakistan to win the Asia Cup in 2022. The victory against India in the recent T20 World Cup 2021 has increased hopes for Pakistan,” Latif said.
“No doubt other teams are also competitive, but the main competition in Asia Cup 2022 will be between India and Pakistan,” Latif summed up.