Ramiz Raja eyes to work with PM Shehbaz, ‘Ball in his Court’
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja on Friday expressed his desire to have a working relationship with Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
Raja claimed he has had no contact with former prime minister Imran Khan since his ouster from the PMO.
He was addressing a pres conference after the 69th meeting of the PCB Board of Governors.
Ramiz Raja claimed that the ex-premier has cut off ties with him after he was removed from the office.
Ramiz Raja said that Shehbaz Sharif was a patron-in-chief of PCB and he requested him to PCB team and take decisions in best interest of cricket.
Ramiz Raja statement to continue as PCB Chairman came when rumours were taking rounds that coalition government wanted to appoint new PCB chief.
“Since September 2021, the Pakistan men’s cricket team has achieved an impressive 75 per cent success-rate across all formats, which is the highest amongst all the Test playing nations. This has contributed in Pakistan improving its rankings, which now stands at fifth in Tests (up by one), third in ODIs (up by three and the highest since January 2017) and third in T20Is (up by one).
“With this background, and in line with our philosophy that revolves around acknowledging, appreciating and rewarding high-performing players, I am pleased with the enhancements in the 2022-23 central contracts. I remain committed to looking after our national cricketers who bring joy to the fans and laurels for the country. These players are our pride, and always need to be well looked after and properly valued so that they can continue to flourish in their field of expertise.
“The thought-process behind splitting red and white-ball contracts is to recognise the importance of white-ball cricket in the growth and development of the game. We have four international events in the next 16 months, including two World Cups. This recognition of offering contracts to white-ball specialists will help us to eventually develop two separate squads, which could simultaneously be engaged in white and red-ball cricket. This will also allow us to have a bigger spread of talent to showcase to the world.
“Further, and to discourage our elite players from signing up for additional off-season events, we have allocated substantial pool of funds. This amount will be used to compensate them for their potential loss in earnings and will also manage their workload and ensure that they remain fully fit, fresh and ready when required on national duty.”
Pakistan Cricket Foundation
The BoG approved the creation of the Pakistan Cricket Foundation as a charitable trust. This is part of the PCB’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative with an aim to look after the welfare and wellbeing of its retired cricketers, match officials, scorers and ground staff. The eligibility and qualification criteria will be announced in due course.
As a starting point, the BoG has approved, in principle, an allocation (donation) of PKR100million to the Pakistan Cricket Foundation over the course of the forthcoming financial year.
Ramiz Raja: “This project was always very close to my heart and in this background, I am grateful to the BoG, which has given us an approval to proceed with setting up the Pakistan Cricket Foundation. Through this foundation, we will further look after the wellbeing of those retired cricketers, match officials, scorers and ground staff who are facing severe hardships.
“Now that the BoG has approved a donation of PKR100million, we will invite donors and sponsors to contribute and raise funds so that we have sufficient money in our coffers to look after all those in desperate need of the fund’s assistance and support.”
Demarcation of CCAs and approval of Affiliation Regulations
The BoG approved amendments to the City Cricket Associations’ territorial jurisdictions in line with geographical demarcations, and also approved affiliation regulations to be complied with for future City Cricket Associations to be recognised. The documents are available on the PCB corporate website under Documents/PCB Model Constitutions.
The BoG approved an operational activity-based annual budget for its 2022-23 fiscal year.
The PCB has budgeted a total spend of PKR15billion, with approximately 78 per cent allocated for cricket-related activities. This includes enhanced central contracts for men’s and women’s cricketers, men’s and women’s international and domestic cricket events in the 2022-23 cricket season with additional local tournaments and matches, the HBL Pakistan Super League 8 and the inaugural Pakistan Junior League.