‘The voice of Pakistan cricket’ takes over reins of PCB

‘The voice of Pakistan cricket’ takes over reins of PCB

LAHORE: Former Pakistan Test skipper Ramiz Raja, known the world over as the voice of Pakistan cricket, took over the reins of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after he was elected unanimously and unopposed as the 36th Chairman here on Monday. Ramiz was the only one to have submitted his nomination papers for the post and voted in by six members of the PCB Board of Governors (BoG). Ramiz is the fourth cricketer after Abdul Hafeez Kardar (1972-1977), Javed Burki (1994-1995) and Ijaz Butt (2008-2011) to head the PCB. 59-year-old Ramiz is the most experienced amongst his predecessors. The special election meeting was presided over by the PCB Election Commissioner, Justice (r) Sheikh Azmat Saeed. Ramiz, along with Asad Ali Khan, was nominated by the PCB Patron, Prime Minister Imran Khan, on the BoG on August 27 for a three-year term, where they joined Aasim Wajid Jawad, Alia Zafar, Arif Saeed, Javed Kurieshi (all independent members) and Wasim Khan (PCB Chief Executive).

Ramiz was an integral part of the national team between years 1984–1997. He emerged on the scene amidst his country’s tryst with match-fixing and betting allegations. In spite of all this, Ramiz turned out to be one of the most honest, dignified and majestic right hand batsman that the country has produced. Exuding style and panache in his batting, Ramiz was drafted into the team after good First-Class performances. Ramiz played 255 international matches across the globe and scored 8,674 runs (57 Tests and 198 one-day internationals). In the World Cups of 1987 and 1992, he was a key figure and as well as taking the catch that won it for Pakistan in 1992, he scored two hundreds through the tournament. He has represented Pakistan on the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee and presently sits on the MCC World Cricket Committee. Following his retirement, Ramiz started another journey in the form of a cricket commentator. He gained immense popularity in and out of Pakistan for his ability to deliver content well. Ramiz is an authoritative, informed and sane voice amid the madness of Pakistan cricket.

This is Ramiz’s second stint with the PCB. Previously, he served as the PCB Chief Executive from 2003 to 2004. He played a pivotal role in ensuring India’s historic tour of Pakistan in 2004 was carried out without hassle. The series won an important Laureus award for bringing the countries together through cricket. He made radical changes to the domestic system, bringing regions to the fore without ridding the system of departments. He also played a role in bringing in central contracts for Pakistan players, but had left by the time they came into effect. After ODI and Test series losses against India, Ramiz helped bring in Bob Woolmer as Pakistan’s head coach, arguably his crowning achievement at the PCB. He also oversaw the launch of the National Cricket Academy before resigning from the position in August 2004 to continue working as a commentator. He has since made his name as Pakistan’s premier commentator, featuring in nearly every national series, home and away. However, unlike in 2004, he will give up his commentary duties during his time at the administrative helm of Pakistan cricket.

Addressing the BoG following his election, Ramiz said: “I am thankful to all of you for electing me as the PCB Chairman and look forward to working with you to ensure Pakistan cricket continues to thrive and grow stronger, both on and off-the-field. One of my key focuses will be to help introduce in the Pakistan men’s cricket team the same culture, mind-set, attitude and approach that once made Pakistan one of the most feared cricket playing nations. As an organisation, we all need to get behind the national team and provide them the desired assistance and support so that they can produce that brand of cricket, which the fans also expect from them each time they step on to the field of play. Obviously, as a former cricketer, my other priority will be to look into the welfare of our past and present cricketers. The game has and will always be about the cricketers and, as such, they deserve more recognition and respect from their parent institution.”

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