Pakistan Cricket chairman Ramiz Raja lashed out at New Zealand and England for pulling out of the Pakistan tour and called them a ‘western bloc’.
Last week New Zealand men’s cricket team pulled out of Pakistan’s limited-overs tour just a few hours before the start of the game in Rawalpindi. The Blackcaps cited that their government officials received a threat regarding security alert.
On Monday, ECB too withdrew from both England’s men and women’s tours in October for the T20I series.
Raja expressed his disappointment over the latest developments that have hit Pakistan cricket very hard. The former Pakistan player recalled how Pakistan adhere to quarantine rules when they tour England and New Zealand.
“I am severely disappointed in England’s withdrawal but it was expected because this western bloc gets united unfortunately and tries to back each other. So you can take any decision on the basis of security threat and perception. There was a sense of anger because first New Zealand got away without sharing information about the threat they were facing,” Raja was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“Now, this England was expected but this is a lesson for us because we go out of our way to accommodate and pamper these sides when they visit. And when we go there, we undergo strict quarantines and we tolerate their admonishments, but there is a lesson in this. That is, that from now on we will only go as far as is in our interest,” he added.
England, Australia, New Zealand are all one block: Ramiz Raja
Pakistan is struggling to host matches since the terror attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team in 2009 which forced games to be suspended in the country for a long period.
Pakistan is scheduled to host West Indies in December followed by the Australians in February next year. Raja is concerned about both the tours and said that Western countries haven’t accepted Pakistan as their good ally.
“Our interest is that cricket will not stop in our country and if the cricket fraternity will not take care of each other then there’s no point to it. New Zealand, then England, now we have a West Indies series that can also be hit, and Australia who is already reconsidering. This – England, Australia, New Zealand – are all one block. Who can we complain to? We thought they were our own but they haven’t accepted us as theirs,” Raja said.
“We have to improve and expand our cricket economy so that these countries remain interested in playing us. That is in our interests as well so that our players are paid better and we are respected more. They come to the PSL where they don’t get spooked or fatigued but collectively they have a different mindset together toward Pakistan,” he added.
Apart from India, we have added two more targets in the T20 World Cup: Ramiz Raja
Pakistan is paired with New Zealand, India, Afghanistan and two more teams in Group 2 of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. Raja urged the Pakistan cricket team to not only defeat India but also keep New Zealand and England as their other targets and complete revenge by winning against these teams.
“We go in the World Cup now and where we had one team in our target – our neighbours India, they now add two more teams – New Zealand and England. So pick up the strength and develop a mindset that we are not going to lose because you didn’t do right by us with us and we will avenge that in the ground,” said Raja.
Pakistan will play their first T20 World Cup game against India on October 24 in Dubai.