Former PCB president Ramiz Raja said that the prevailing Indian mindset was to curtail the progress of Pakistan cricket and that the country’s sport needed to become financially independent. Raja was speaking at an event in the Government College University Lahore.
“Unfortunately, what’s happening with India is that there is this BJP mindset over there. The properties that I had announced, be it the PJL or the Pakistan Women’s League, were done so that we could have our own money-making assets that would fund the Pakistan Cricket Board, which would take us away from the ICC’s funding, which is crucial right now,” said Raja.
He then added, “Our independence gets compromised because most of ICC’s resources are created in India. If India’s mindset is to marginalise Pakistan then we remain neither here nor there.”
Raja also said that he had spoken to the Australia and England cricket boards and asked them to take leadership roles at the ICC where the organisation wouldn’t buckle under the pressure of money.
“I made my position clear on this. If the ACC has nominated us to hold an Asian tournament and if India says one fine day that we won’t go to Pakistan and the Asia Cup will also be taken from here, then all I said was that we have options too.”
At the event, Raja talked about his conversations with Babar Azam. He recalled telling the captain that ‘losing against India was not an option’. He added that this was because the only way to raise the profile of Pakistan cricket was to win silverware. “We have to beat India because only then can we be in a stronger position to negotiate and only then can their narratives be killed,” said Raja.
Raja also spoke about his ouster from the Pakistan Cricket Board and said that the country lacked a process-oriented approach to their cricket and until the processes were strengthened, not much would change. He said, “Entering from the backdoor by bulldozing the constitution and imposing someone on the cricket board – I feel this is unfair on everyone. Everything becomes rudderless. What is right or wrong gets lost in social media reports and I feel this needs to change.”
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