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Ramiz Raja not to continue commentary for now

Former Pakistani cricketer Ramiz Raja was appointed as the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in September 2021. This was a surprise move for Raja, who had a successful career as a commentator after his retirement from cricket. He had taken on the administrative role and faced many challenges, including those of criticism from his previous role as a commentator.

Raja’s tenure as PCB head was marked by quick and bold decisions, such as the removal of the coaching setup appointed by the previous management and the introduction of the Pakistan Junior League (PJL). However, his stay was cut short to 16 months after the current Prime Minister and PCB patron, Shehbaz Sharif, appointed a new management committee to enforce the 2014 constitution, which repealed the 2019 constitution.

After his removal, Raja spoke out against political influence in the cricket board in a series of interviews with local channels. His fans hoped to see him return to the commentary but he remained non-committal in an interview with, stating, “When there will be any plan to return to commentary, I will share it myself.”

During his tenure as chairman, Raja introduced the idea of drop-in pitches and Australian soil, but later on, the surfaces in Karachi and Lahore were prepared with local soil. This led to controversy, with the Rawalpindi stadium receiving demerit points for “below average” pitches during the home Test series against Australia in March 2022 and during the first Test between Pakistan and England in December.

When asked about his input in pitch-making, Raja replied, “Neither I made pitches, nor I gave instructions; you do your homework first.” He added, “I talked about the betterment of pitches. What type of pitch was made in Karachi after me? I talked about the solution; if you think there is no solution, then stop talking about pitches.”

During Raja’s tenure, there was a perception that senior cricketers, including Sarfaraz Ahmed, were being sidelined. However, after Raja’s departure, Sarfaraz was given an opportunity in Test cricket and scored three back-to-back fifties and a match-saving hundred against New Zealand in Karachi. Raja refused to comment on Sarfaraz’s performance, stating, “I don’t want to do politics.”

In conclusion, Ramiz Raja’s tenure as PCB chairman was marked by bold decisions but also controversies surrounding pitch-making and the sidelining of senior cricketers. He remained vocal about the betterment of pitches, and his tenure was cut short due to changes in the PCB’s management structure.

Also, see:

PCB likely to sack Babar Azam as captain

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