Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja has said that if one goes by the statement shared by the England and Wales Cricket Board on pulling out of their tour in October, there is “no quote related to security”.
The newly appointed PCB chief went on to say that he is frustrated dealing with western mentality. “The point is England did not quote security at all if you look at the press statement. It says the players are tired, they have been living in a bubble, probably spooked by the New Zealand pull out. So, my real frustration is that it’s kind of a western mentality we are dealing with,” Raja was quoted as saying by Khaleej Times on Wednesday.
He further slammed New Zealand’s unilateral decision to pull out of the white-ball tour in Pakistan. “New Zealand changed their travel advisory after they pulled out of the tour. They do not have intelligence on the ground in Pakistan. And we don’t know whether it was a hoax because nothing was shared. It was a unilateral decision. Let’s be very clear, we are talking about security agencies that are the most battle-hardened in the world. And yet you don’t share your threat? And don’t share anything with them and just take off, based on what you received from your intelligence agencies in Auckland! And not realising what it can cost to Pakistan cricket.”
“You know, we have taken thousands of baby steps to get here, relaunch cricket in Pakistan and so all the hard work, all the good things that we have done through PSL (Pakistan Super League), by inviting World XI, by inviting other countries, then suddenly you saw that knee-jerk reaction which is just not acceptable,” added Raja.
Raja mentioned about foreign cricketers and commentators not having issues when coming for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in the country. “The point is when they are together as a group (for a bilateral series in Pakistan), they have a different take. But when they come individually, even against the travel advisory, they come here. So, the New Zealanders are here, the Brits are here, the Australians are here. So, I mean even the (foreign) commentators come here. You know, we had Dominic Cork in the commentary team. So, he was here and it doesn’t make sense at all.”
The 59-year-old concluded by saying that he has asked the sponsors to back the national team to the hilt so that the use and bin treatment by other nations can stop. “Unless you are a big powerful cricket economy, that’s what I am asking my sponsors to be, to back us to the hilt now to make sure that we survive well, honourably as a cricket economy.”