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Ramiz Raja slams political interference in Pakistan cricket

Ramiz Raja slams political interference in cricket terming it an effort to accommodate ‘Sethi and his thugs’!

Recently ousted Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja in a video shared to his Youtube channel on Monday slammed what he called “political interference” by amending the cricket board’s constitution to accommodate himself incumbent PCB chairman Najam Sethi and “his thugs”.

Ramiz Raja said there should be “no involvement of politics in cricket” as he responded to questions from the public on his YouTube channel.

He said it was a game for cricketers and was their playing field, adding that people from outside should not be brought in who “come and attack and think the work you are doing is not right”.

Slamming the sitting government, Ramiz went on to say that “You changed the entire [PCB] Constitution to bring in one person, Najam Sethi, and to adjust him. I’ve never seen this anywhere else in the world.”

He said there was a way to such processes and lamented that the change — along with the change of the chief selector — was done in the middle of the cricketing season when teams were coming to play.

“You bid farewell to people with respect. He (Sethi) was tweeting at 2:15 am that Ramiz Raja is out and people should congratulate him.”

Raja said he was a Test cricketer and it was his playing field. “So you are hurt because it seems as if a messiah has come who will take cricket to great heights, although, we know that their motives are different,” the former PCB chief added.

“This notion is not even present that they’ve come for the development and advancement of cricket. They’ve come for lordship and they enjoy getting the limelight somehow.

“Nothing to do with cricket and they’ve never picked up a bat and then they’re appointed as the chairman,” Raja said.

The former cricketer also pointed out that he was given the PCB chairman’s charge for three years but was “sidelined” after a mere 12 months because of “political interference and a political appointment”.

“Our cricket will be destroyed this way because when there is no continuity and people are brought in like this through backdoor [means] then what will be your level?”

According to Ramiz Raja, such appointments created pressure on the entire cricketing structure from top to bottom.

“Only in Pakistan, this can happen that you change the constitution to adjust a person or to bring in his thugs.”

Raja went on to add that he will raise the issue of political interference in sports at international forums as well.

“Is this a joke with our cricket?” he concluded, adding that “people are angry about this.”

In a major top-level change in Pakistan cricket administration, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on December 21, nominated a 14-member management committee headed by Najam Sethi to run the PCB affairs till the elections are held within the next four months.

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