Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ramiz Raja has aimed to work closely with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. He was hired as a Chairman by the former PM, Imran Khan. Raja claimed that since his departure, he has “cut off contact with him”.
On Friday, Ramiz Raja in a press conference revealed that once Imran Khan’s government was ousted, he has not been in contact with him since then. Replying to a journalist’s question, Ramiz Raja said, “Imran Bhai cut off contact with me, and I haven’t spoken to him in a long time”.
Even though there were gossip regarding his removal as PCB Chairman, but Ramiz Raja had high hopes for building good working relations with PM Shehbaz Sharif. He stated, “We can’t live in the midst of rumors; I believe there is a need for continuity apart from political differences”.
The former cricketer said, “See, our prime minister is our patron-in-chief. We have requested his time, and if he meets with us, we will tell him about our work. I don’t think there is any need for ego here because, in the end, we all want to uplift cricket”.
“If there is anything in the constitution about removing the PCB chairman every time, go ahead with it. Otherwise, satisfying individual desires will not benefit the game.”
In a concluding statement, Chairman PCB said, “The ball is in his [PM Shehbaz’s] court”.
A few days ago PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja met with current PM Shehbaz Sharif along with Khalid Mehmood, former PCB chairman. During the meeting, the Chairman of PCB was on the top of the agenda reportedly.
Rs. 15 billion budget for PCB approved by BoG During the press conference, Chairman Ramiz Raja stated that Rs. 15 billion has been approved by the Board of Governors (BoG) for the fiscal year of 2023. The Chief of PCB further said that a total of 78% of the budget will be spent on his dream project Pakistan Junior League (PJL) and other cricket-related activities.
Following this announcement, Ramiz Raja also made a revelation regarding the central contracts of the players, upon the approval of the budget by BoG.
The board has also approved the budget for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy in 2025 and ACC 50-over Asia Cup in 2023. Hence, for this purpose, a lot of upgrades are planned to ensure the best cricketing experience is delivered. With the approval of funding, work related to infrastructure upgrades is also to begin. These include spectator chairs, floodlights, replay screens, and player dressing rooms.
Furthermore, upon the recommendation of management training allowance for lower-level employees has also been approved. This will help them to continue with the education of their children.
Invitation to IPL
Chairman PCB, Ramiz Raja also said that BCCI president Saurav Ganguly has twice invited him to witness the IPL final. He said, “Saurav Ganguly invited me to watch two consecutive IPL finals. But I decided not to go because of the emotional connection between our fans and the political situation. Cricket-wise, it made sense to go, but things will take time to change”.
Since the second edition of IPL, the Indian Cricket Board has ignored Pakistani players. Pakistani players were only featured in the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League.