“When Any Country Tries To Boss…”: Ramiz Raja On Asia Cup Controversy Between India And Pakistan

Former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) stood firm over the controversy involving hosting rights for the Asia Cup 2023. Ramiz maintained his stance that the tournament will not be moved out of Pakistan, despite India’s decision to not travel to the country. But, just a few weeks into the controversy, Ramiz found himself out of the PCB, with Najam Sethi coming in to replace him. With his stint as the PCB’s chairman over, Ramiz returned to his YouTube channel to issue a few clarifications on the ‘Asia Cup controversy’ that has been occupying a lot of his time for a while now.

Ramiz, in a video on YouTube, said that he has got great regards for Indian fans, having received a lot of love from them. But, it’s when India outrightly refused to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup, without any conversation or meeting, that problems arose.

“I have got great regard for Indian fans, I have absolutely enjoyed my stint over the years in India. There is no doubt in this. Cricket breaks barriers, it helps transcend barriers. As a cricketer, as a commentator, I have gotten a lot of love,” Raja said in the video, in response to a fan’s question.

“Problems start when you run the cricket administration, then you have to take strong decisions. Those strong decisions are judged by the Indian perspective, the fans and the cricket board in Pakistan are looking at their own benefits. They are looking at those calls from their own perspective.

“The problem started when we got the Asia Cup hosting rights and then India thought we won’t go to Pakistan and because of that Asia Cup will be held in a neutral country, it can’t be held in Pakistan. As you know, big international teams weren’t coming to Pakistan, and after a long time, Pakistan is getting to host an international tournament. I took my stand based on that,” he added.

“Leadership is very important when you are running cricket. We challenged England, we challenged New Zealand when they went back, they returned to play. England played extra matches too also,” Raja said. “That’s why it’s important to take a stand for us.”

“This was not even news to me, because it was a done deal that Pakistan will host the Asia Cup. To withdraw the hosting rights without any meeting, without any conversation, or without any committee. No Asia Cup member also knew this,” he further said.

Ramiz felt that Pakistan decided to stand up to India on the Asia Cup hosting rights matter. But, considering the stature that the BCCI has, India didn’t budge, probably saying “who are they to challenge us”. For Ramiz, it’s a problem when a country ‘tries to boss’.

Ramiz also had a conversation with Pakistan captain Babar Azam on the topic, explaining to him why it is important for his team to beat the Indians, as this is the only way they can be regarded as a ‘superpower’.

“When any country tries to boss, then it becomes a problem. Suddenly, we took a stand against India and that situation won’t be painted in India that way. They will obviously say “who are they to challenge us?”

“That’s why I would keep telling Babar Azam it’s important to win against India… If we are not competitive against them (India), they will not regard as us a superpower in cricket. We have to prove it again and again. We have also beaten India twice recently,” he added.

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