Pakistan “used and binned” by the “Western Bloc”: Ramiz Raja
Pakistan has been “used and binned” by the “Western Bloc”, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja said, adding that Australia will cancel the tour just like New Zealand and England.
On Monday, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) called off the men’s and women’s team tour citing the reason that the mental and physical wellbeing of the players is the board’s top priority.
The ECB announced its decision after New Zealand called off the tour a few minutes before the start of the first ODI at Pindi Cricket Stadium on Friday amid security concerns.
“How I wish today that I was still a YouTuber, rather than the chairman of the cricket board because I would have absolutely taken on New Zealand and England unabashedly,” Raja said while speaking during a virtual news conference.
“It’s the feeling of being used and then binned — that is the feeling that I have right now,” the former Pakistan captain said. “I certainly feel that we are up against a western mindset, a Western bloc.”
Ramiz mentioned Pakistan’s tours to England and New Zealand in tough COVID-19 conditions last year and felt the withdrawals by them would have a domino effect.
“West Indies could be a little jittery and we know that the Australians will probably do what the New Zealanders and England have done. So there goes our domestic international calendar.”
Cricket Australia has said it would “talk with the relevant authorities once more information becomes known” ahead of its scheduled tour early next year.
After the attack on the Sri Lankan team back in 2009, all big sides had shunned, Pakistan which has been trying to bring back the top teams to play in its stadiums.
Ramiz was taken aback after ECB decided not to tour.
“A little bit of hand-holding, a little bit of caring was needed, especially after New Zealand pulled out, and we didn’t get that from ECB,” he said.
England is set to visit Pakistan for the first time since 2005 in the 2022-23 season, but Raja, who spoke with ECB Chairman Ian Whatmore, is not taking anything for granted.
“I said what is the guarantee of England coming back and playing here? … because a month before that tour you can easily quote tiredness, players being spooked again, sick of living in a bubble.”
The ECB declined to add any more comments to Monday’s decision. According to media reports, the PCB is facing losses of $15-25 million due to the tour cancellations.
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