Ramiz Raja blames India’s ‘BJP mindset’ for ‘marginalising’ Pakistan cricket, says ‘our independence gets compromised’

Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja has been making headlines ever since his ouster as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman with Najam Sethi replacing him. The former PCB chief has been in a war of words with Sethi and the board, with the latter even threatening to file a a lawsuit against the ex-cricketer.

On Tuesday, a report emerged with Raja once again being in the center but this time he targeted India. “Unfortunately, what’s happening with India is that there is this BJP mindset over there. The properties that I had announced, be it the PJL or the Pakistan Women’s League, were done so that we could have our own money-making assets that would fund the Pakistan Cricket Board, which would take us away from the ICC’s funding, which is crucial right now,” Raja was quoted as saying by The Indian Express. As per the report, Raja made the remarks while addressing a gathering at the Government College University Lahore.

“Our independence gets compromised because most of ICC’s resources are created in India. If India’s mindset is to marginalise Pakistan then we remain neither here nor there,” he added.

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Raja also mentioned that he had spoken about the issue with the Australia and England cricket boards, urging them to take over the leadership roles at ICC, cricket’s governing body, in order to safeguard Pakistan’s interest.

“I made my position clear on this. If the ACC has nominated us to hold an Asian tournament and if India says one fine day that we won’t go to Pakistan and the Asia Cup will also be taken from here, then all I said was that we have options too.”

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Raja also shared the conversations he had with Babar Azam, where he told the Pakistan skipper that “losing to India is not an option.”

“We have to beat India because only then can we be in a stronger position to negotiate and only then can their narratives be killed,” said Raja.

Raja also shared his views on his unceremonious exit from PCB. “Entering from the backdoor by bulldozing the constitution and imposing someone on the cricket board – I feel this is unfair on everyone. Everything becomes rudderless. What is right or wrong gets lost in social media reports and I feel this needs to change,” the former PCB boss said.