Former Pakistan cricketer, Ramiz Raja, has voiced his criticism of Najam Sethi, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) management committee, over his recent suggestion of hosting the Asia Cup in England.
During an interview with an Indian media outlet, Sethi proposed the idea of England as a potential venue for the Asia Cup. However, Raja expressed his astonishment at Sethi’s statement and raised doubts about his mental stability. Raja argued that the primary purpose of the Asia Cup, especially when held before the World Cup, is to allow teams to familiarize themselves with the subcontinent conditions.
“I was shocked to hear the Chairman PCB saying it would be great to see the Asia Cup being played at Lord’s. Is he mentally stable or not?” questioned Raja.
He further emphasized, “The whole point of Asia Cup before the World Cup was that the teams get familiar with the conditions of the subcontinent.”
Ramiz Raja also addressed Sethi’s earlier statement about the possibility of hosting the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Dubai due to taxation concerns.
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“Another statement that made me angry was Mr. Chairman telling the press they want to organize PSL season 9 in the UAE because there are issues with taxation in Pakistan,” Raja stated.
Ramiz Raja criticized the contradictory nature of Sethi’s statements, highlighting the PCB chairman’s assertion that Pakistan is safe for cricket regarding the Asia Cup while suggesting that the PSL should not be conducted in Pakistan.
“It took us years to bring the PSL back to Pakistan and to show the world that Pakistan is finally ready to host international cricket, but you want to nullify that? This is disappointing,” Raja added.
Raja’s criticism reflects concerns about maintaining consistency in the PCB’s approach to hosting cricket events and ensuring the development of the sport in Pakistan. The proposal to host the Asia Cup in England and the potential shift of the PSL away from Pakistan raise questions about the strategic decisions being made by the PCB.