Ex-PCB chairman Ramiz Raja opens up about Najam Sethi's takeover

"The new hierarchy in PCB will put pressure on Babar Azam," Raja claims

By
Sports Desk
Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja (right) and Chairman PCB Management Committee Najam Sethi. — PCB/File
Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja (right) and Chairman PCB Management Committee Najam Sethi. — PCB/File

Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja Monday opened up about the management committee led by Najam Sethi — who served as the PCB head during the Pakistan Muslim League's (PML-N) last tenure.

While speaking on his official YouTube channel, Raja stated that political interference in cricket is not justified.

"There should be no political interference in cricket. The Government of Pakistan removed a Test cricketer from the chairmanship of PCB just to accommodate Sethi. This is a highly disrespectful way of treating your cricketers,” said Raja.

"The Government of Pakistan changed the whole Constitution of PCB just to accommodate Sethi. I have never seen this ever in my life,” he added.

Raja also opened up about the captaincy of Babar Azam and the impact of the new PCB setup on the batter’s leadership.

"I believe in an authoritative captain but Babar has to bring improvement in his captaincy,” he said.

"The new hierarchy in PCB will put pressure on Babar Azam because the captain now has to work with a new management of PCB during the ongoing season,” he added.

Raja sacked

It must be noted that Raja was sacked just days after the national team suffered a humiliating first-ever 3-0 home series whitewash at the hands of England, according to a government notice.

But a change had been on the cards since April, when Imran Khan — a former national captain — was ousted as prime minister and replaced by Shehbaz Sharif.

Raja, a member of Khan's 1992 World Cup-winning side, was appointed chairman of the PCB in September last year.

A government notice seen Sharif's cabinet had dismissed Raja, and the PCB would now be run by a 14-member committee headed by Najam Sethi, who has twice served as chairman.

The committee also includes legendary all-rounder Shahid Afridi, who is a former captain of the men's team.

The government notice also said the current constitution of the board has been scrapped, and one dating from 2014 revived.

The committee will have 120 days to change the constitution and elect a new chairman.

Khan came under fire for changing the PCB's constitution in 2019 — in particular for abolishing the role of government departments and private entities in first-class cricket, leaving hundreds unemployed.

However, in his tweet, Sethi said "thousands of cricketers will be employed again".

"The famine in cricket will come to an end," he added.