We’ll have a back-up plan for England’s 2022 tour of Pakistan, says PCB chairman Ramiz Raja


PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja has recently stated that Pakistan will have a back-up plan for England’s tour in 2022, in case England opts out of the series. Ramiz Raja also confessed that it was a feeling of being used and then binned throughout the last week for the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Pakistan cricket seems to be in a state of turmoil once again. After New Zealand canceled its tour on September 17, England has followed the same path. England was scheduled to tour Pakistan in October for two T20I matches but decided to scrap the series. England is also scheduled to tour Pakistan in November-December 2022 but PCB chairman Ramiz Raja is of the opinion that there is a slight possibility of England opting-out from the series and PCB should be ready with the backup for the possibility. 

Reflecting on the issue Ramiz said that he has discussed the possibility of  England pulling out of the tour to Pakistan next year with ECB chairman Ian Watmore, who had no answer to it. 

“I spoke to Ian [Watmore] about this and I said what is the guarantee of England coming back in 2022 and playing because a month before that tour you can easily quote tiredness, players being spooked, or sick of living in a bubble, or a threat perception not being shared with us. He clearly had no answer to that, so we’ll have a backup plan for sure,” Ramiz said.

Ramiz Raja has already let out his anger on social media in a PCB video. Expressing his emotions on the withdrawal by England Ramiz said that he was feeling betrayed and it is a feeling of being used and binned. 

“It’s a feeling of being used and binned. That is the feeling. A little bit of handholding, a little bit of caring was needed after New Zealand pulled out and we didn’t get that from the ECB,” he remarked. 

He also mentioned that the ECB should have supported Pakistan cricket after New Zealand pulled out of the series they were scheduled to play. 

“In going out of our way to accommodate, to adjust to international demands, to being a responsible part of the fraternity and in return we get a response from the ECB that the players were spooked by NZ withdrawal – what does that mean? We offered them housing just next door to the stadium in Lahore in the NHPC (National High Performance Centre). It was about helping a member of the cricket fraternity when they needed you most and we didn’t get that from the ECB,” he revealed. 

Firing shots at the way New Zealand and England have pulled out of the tournament, Ramiz said that the players are happy to be caged in a bubble environment and carry on with the IPL. 

“It’s a fantastic dichotomy, you’re quoting mental tensions, player fatigue, players being spooked and what, Dubai is about an hour and half from here and so before the World Cup, they’re quite happy to be caged in a bubble environment and carry on with that tournament. One feels slighted. Humiliated. Withdrawal doesn’t have an answer, frankly speaking.”

Taking to Twitter, the PCB chairman initially tweeted that they will go to ICC to solve this issue. He also opined that three countries are running world cricket and everything is about self-interest in the game.  

“We get together as a group and talk a lot but don’t address elephants in the room, for example, security, or pulling out of tours, or why is there a bloc of two to three countries running the show. It’s cosmetic more than anything else. We’ve tried to create a bond, tried to make sure we play by the book, made sure we go out and play in New Zealand, in quarantine times, to England and elsewhere. We’ve been a very responsible member of this fraternity and in return we get nothing. So obviously we think it is cosmetic, it is self-interest.” he concluded. 

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