Cricketer turned commentator turned administrator Rameez Raja has given a reality check to his country’s government regarding the might of Indian cricket. Newly appointed Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Raja during a Senate Standing Committee meeting remarked that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) wanted, the PCB could collapse anytime.
“PCB is funded 50% by the ICC (International Cricket Council) that is funded 90% by the BCCI or in a way, the Indian business houses are running Pakistan cricket. If tomorrow Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi feels that we won’t provide any funding to Pakistan, then this cricket board can collapse,” said Rameez.
PCB chairman Ramiz Raja told Pakistan’s Senate Standing Committee that Indian business houses in a way run Pakistan cricket and Indian PM Modi has power to ensure collapse of PCB#PakistanCricket #RamizRaja pic.twitter.com/fbpUk2g5Fx
— Zee News English (@ZeeNewsEnglish) October 8, 2021
I am scared: Rameez Raja
Sounding scared after seeing the accounting books of PCB, Rameez further remarked, “Our cricket is relying on ICC’s funding right now and when I see the books, I get very scared because the contribution of local entrepreneurs is minimal,”
Ever since Rameez took the reins of the PCB, he has had to face a torrid time. First, the New Zealand Cricket team canceled the limited-overs tour midway, packing its bags and leaving the country overnight citing security threats. Then, the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) canceled their four-day tour to Pakistan citing Covid as a reason.
The snub by the two cricketing nations has depleted the already scarce coffers of the PCB. As a direct repercussion of the cancellation, Raja confessed that the cricketing operations in the country were completely dependent on the funding they receive from the ICC.
PCB wants to revive cricket Pakistan
After the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore during the 2009 tour, Pakistan has not witnessed any high-profile team visiting its shores. As a host, Pakistan has been exiled to play its international matches in the sultry weather of United Arab Emirates.
Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh, South Africa, and an ICC World XI team did tour Pakistan for small series’ after 2015, but they could not inspire confidence about the security of the players. Even holding PSL in Pakistan proved to be a vain effort.
If NZ and England tour would have gone as planned, cricket could have returned to the terrorist nation but it appears that PCB is destined to remain in the wilderness for the next decade or so, due to the tacit support to terrorists and terrorism by its political leaders including former cricketer turned politician Imran Khan.
Pleading India to play a bilateral tour
PCB time and again wants to play a bilateral series with India to infuse cash liquidity in the market. However, the last time the two nations played a bilateral series with each other was way back in the year 2012-13. Since then, the two teams have only locked horns in ICC tournaments and Asia Cup as the BCCI and Indian government continue to put national interest above sport.
India will take on Pakistan in a Super 12 game on October 24 at the Dubai International Stadium. The ‘Men in Blue’ are yet to lose a game against their arch-rivals, holding a 4-0 head-to-head lead. Meanwhile, Pakistan have struggled against their neighbors in the shortest format, although one meeting between the two sides ended in a thrilling tie.