Wednesday, May 22, 2024

‘We are not an African country’: Ex-PCB chief makes bizarre remark on Pakistan-Ireland series

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Ex-Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja made a startling remark on the ongoing T20I series between Ireland and Pakistan as he criticised the coverage quality of the series.

Ex-PCB chief criticised the coverage quality of the T20I series between Pakistan and Ireland. (Photo: PCB)

New Delhi: Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja criticised the quality of coverage in the ongoing T20I series between Ireland and Pakistan in Ireland. The two teams are locking horns in a three-match series to prepare for the all-important T20 World Cup 2024. However, the lack of basic facilities like DRS and replays in the coverage has not gone down well with the ex-PCB chief.

Ireland stunned Pakistan to clinch the first T20I before the visitors bounced back to win the second game and level the series 1-1. Pakistan rode on half-centuries from Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman to chase down the target of 194 runs with 19 balls to spare and wrap up a dominant win. Raja was pleased by Pakistan’s commanding display in the game as he lauded the visitors for finally playing to their potential.

However, he was extremely critical of the manner in which the series is being covered and telecasted around the world. Raja believes the coverage quality is similar to that of a club-level tournament and not an international series, which he feels is unfair to Pakistan cricket and the fans of the Pakistan cricket team.

“One thing which I don’t like at all is the coverage of this match. It feels like a club game is being telecast. Only two cameras are there. There’s no DRS, no replays, you don’t get an idea of the boundary rope, you can’t enjoy a good shot being played or good balls being bowled. This is extremely unfair to the Pakistan cricket product. A lot of people love Pakistan cricket. It has an aura around the world. And to present it like this is unfair to Pakistan cricket,” Raja said in a video on his YouTube channel.

Raja also targeted PCB over the inferior coverage quality of the series and stated how BCCI would have handled the situation differently if the series was being played between Ireland and India. The ex-PCB chief said Pakistan cricket’s reputation was in their own hands and that the coverage doesn’t do justice to the aura of the team.

“I can tell you this with certainty if India knew this situation, they would never have allowed such coverage. Because your honour is in your hands. So Pakistan’s honour should also be in their hands. Through coverage like this, our cricket looks flat. And it is unfair,” Raja added.

Ramiz Raja makes a startling ‘Africa’ comparison

High on emotions, Raja ended up making a bizarre and rather controversial remark in his video as he compared the coverage of the series to the broadcast quality of matches featuring African teams. Raja said Pakistan was not an African country and deserved better coverage. He also questioned the non-telecast of the three-match series in the UK.

“We are not an African country that the coverage for our games can be this poor. This series is not telecast in England. It’s not available on Sky. Primarily because it is being covered like this. This is unfair to Pakistan,” said the ex-PCB chief.

Ireland might not have managed the best possible coverage of the T20I series but have certainly proved to be a worthy opponent for Pakistan. The underdogs defeated the visitors comfortably by five wickets in the series opener to take a 1-0 lead before posting a strong total of 193 runs, batting first in their seven-wicket defeat in the 2nd T20I last week.

Ireland will be pushing for a sensational series win when they lock horns with Pakistan in the final third T20I in Dublin on Tuesday, May 14.

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