There are no doubts that Babar Azam is the face of Pakistan Cricket and has been for quite some time. A player beyond whom Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja hasn’t thought of the game in the country.
“Maine toh socha hi nhi Babar Azam ke baad bhi zindagi hai (I haven’t even thought of life beyond Babar Azam),” Raja said in a press conference on Wednesday.
The 59-year old was addressing the media after PCB signed a cricket coaching project with Engro Corporation for Pathway Cricket MoU when he was asked if he and the board had circled on a captaincy prospect for the future. His answer was a short and emotional one that conveyed well Pakistan Cricket’s stance on the matter.
Another record for Babar Azam 👊
All the changes in this week’s @MRFWorldwide men’s rankings 👇
— ICC (@ICC) June 29, 2022
Babar has been in breath taking form of late, especially in the ODI format, averaging 91.40 in 2022 with three hundreds and two fifties in the six innings he has played in the 50-over format this year. The 27-year old currently occupies the top spot in the ICC Men’s ODI Batting Rankings.
No future in the commentary box
Raja’s future as the PCB chairman has been in the dark ever since Shehbaz Sharif took over from Imran Khan as the Prime Minister. The 59-year old, however, sounded confident about him continuing in his role in the administration.
“Ye tum logo ki taraf se hai uncertainty…mujhe andar se pta hai kuch nahi hoga (The uncertainty is for you all journalists, I know from within the board that nothing would happen),” he said.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) June 29, 2022
Being further pressed on the issue by journalists, Raja also mentioned that there was no way back for him in the commentary box due to the stands he took as the PCB chairman.
“Jitni maine ladaiya li, meri commentary toh gayi…ek ek se maine ladaiya li hai (The number of fights I’ve had, my commentary future is gone….I’ve fought with a lot),” Raja said.
‘Who’ll stop Women’s PSL?’
Even if the doubts lingering over his role were to be for the worse, Raja believes the future of Women’s Pakistan Super League won’t get compromised.
‘Women’s PSL kaun rokega?’ (who’ll stop Women’s PSL), he threw a rhetorical in the press conference.
“Aapke coaches aur selections ko leke differences ho skte hai, Women’s PSL aisa project hai jo long term hai….bhale hi chairman koi aur ho (You can have difference of opinions in terms of the coaches and the selections but a project like Women’s PSL is a long term one and won’t be affected by who the chairman of PCB is).”
The former Pakistan cricketer turned broadcaster turned administrator had said earlier this year that PCB was working on introducing women’s edition of Pakistan’s premier T20 franchise league in 2023.
“We have a base and we are planning to launch a Pakistan Super League (PSL) for women in January next year with foreign players and also working on having a PSL for under-19 players in October this year,” he had said.