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Ramiz backs Babar as captain,says Test shows need improvement

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LAHORE: Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja on Tuesday supported national captain Babar Azam saying he was doing a good job while Pakistan were still struggling to do well in Test cricket.

Addressing a function held here at the Government College University, Ramiz, who last month was sacked and replaced with Najam Sethi as PCB chief by Prime Minister and PCB patron Shahbaz Sharif, also highlighted his achievements while criticising what he termed the system of politics being adopted to bring in the new PCB chairman.

“Under the captaincy of Babar, Pakistan’s performance in white-ball formats remained good whereas in Test cricket more good work needs to be done for improvement,” Ramiz said.

Pakistan under Babar’s ODI captaincy that started in October 2020, have won 13 games out of 19, lost five while one ended as a tie. In his T20 International captaincy tenure that began in November 2019, the team have won 40 out of 66 matches, lost 21 while five ended with no result.

However, the leadership record of right-handed batting machine in Test matches has not been that impressive (18 matches, eight wins, six losses, four draws). Pakistan under him have not won a single home Test in eight outings since last March.

“In my tenure, a pathway programme was introduced in which 100 talented cricketers were getting education and monthly income to continue their cricket.”

Ramiz said the playing XI had to be selected by captain and coach who were primary decision makers in deciding a playing XI besides consulting the selectors in picking the national team.

He said if he returned to the PCB he would resume his brainchild project of the Pakistan Junior League, which Sethi had shelved.

In the first edition held in September-October last year, the PCB suffered a financial loss of Rs1 billion, according to the documents of the PCB.

“The PCB should be the domain of [former] cricketers as they can run in it in a better way,” the former opener emphasised.

While advising students to play sports amid studies, Ramiz on the occasion urged the government to invest in sports, other than cricket, which he said were dying in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2023


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