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Wednesday 31st May 2023 / 9 Shawwal 1444

ICC compromised by Indian influence, needs to resolve Pak-India cricket dispute: Ramiz Raja

MULTAN: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja has alleged that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has been compromised due to India’s growing wealth and influence, and called on the world cricket body to be “up front” and “proactive” in resolving India and Pakistan’s long-running cricketing dispute.

Also read: Ramiz Raja wants to see Pakistan, India hosting each other again

In an interview to UAE-based website, Ramiz Raja alleged that ICC had been “compromised” by India’s growing wealth and influence in the game, preventing them from having the necessary conversations that could result in both national teams playing in each other’s countries.

“They are circumspect and not forthcoming because India produces the entire ICC wealth, and so their position, unfortunately, is compromised as a result,” the former Pakistan batsman said.

“I don’t think it’s going to change unless we have a resolve and commitment in every cricket board and our cricket fraternity works towards making it happen.”

“Of course we need to play each other,” Raja said. “Who wouldn’t want to watch India versus Pakistan? There shouldn’t be an excuse for Pakistan not playing in India or India not playing in Pakistan.”

He said “I think we’re still about two, three years away from lowering our guard,” adding “I’m very comfortable that at least cricket is happening in Pakistan.”

Since the introduction of the Indian Premier League (IPL), of which Pakistani players have been banned since the inaugural competition in 2008, Indian cricket has grown exponentially in popularity and wealth.

Even though the Pakistan national team has performed well at the elite level – finishing fifth in the ODI World Cup in 2019 and runners-up in the T20 World Cup in Australia this year – Raja believes Pakistani cricket has suffered.

Also read: Pak players better than billion-dollar league cricketers: Ramiz Raja

“It’s a miracle really, how we have remained afloat and relevant,” he said. “And I’ve mentioned it before somewhere that it was like living in an apartheid cricket system.

“It has a horrendous effect; your confidence [as a player], the industry, and fans want to see their favourite cricketers from close range.
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