- Duo will train cricket team ahead of major ICC event, announces new PCB chairman in a first press conference
The newly-elected Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja has announced that former Australian opener Matthew Hayden and South African bowler Vernon Philander have been roped in for the Pakistan team for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
While addressing a press conference on Monday at the Bob Woolmer Indoor School, National High-Performance Centre, Lahore, Ramiz said that Hayden has shared a dressing room with the top-ranked Australian team, and will be crucial in lifting the spirits of the national team during the important ICC event.
"I know Vernon, and he has some phenomenal performances against leading teams, including Australia. I hope the two will help Pakistan cricket in performing at their best during the T20 World Cup."
The new PCB chairman said that he will revisit the coaching setup of the national cricket team during his tenure.
"Aimless coaches are the reason why Pakistan does not have enough ‘polished products’ despite having a large pool of talented players.
“Pakistan’s coaching setup needs to be overhauled. Coaches need to instil the fearless approach within the players without compromising on their technique,” Ramiz said, adding that he will work to improve the situation.
The former Pakistan captain had also invited the heroes of the 1992 Cricket World Cup-winning team to attend his debut presser.
Moin Khan and ex-coach Aqib Javed were present at the press conference with Ramiz.
On the issue of domestic cricket, Ramiz said the termination of department cricket resulted in heavy criticism where cricketers lost a massive financial sum they used to earn from departments.
He, therefore, announced to increase the retainership fee of all 192 first-class cricketers by Rs100,000.
“This should end the uncertainty surrounding the domestic cricket structure,” Ramiz.
He said he wanted to enhance Pakistan club cricket and merge school cricket with it to maximise the benefit of the talent-hunt process.
“Club cricket runners are unsung heroes of cricket. There will be special incentives for any club that produces an international player,” he said.
He also announced the construction of High-Performance Centers in Balochistan and Sindh and said he will encourage players to represent their respective regions.
Influence on selection
Ramiz negated the notion that he influenced the selection of the Pakistan cricket team for the T20 World Cup and said that chief selector Mohammad Wasim with the input of the captain, Babar Azam, picked the side.
“We have to support the Pakistan squad. There is no truth to the rumours that I've made any changes in the T20 squad.”
The chairman said he wants more time to assess Babar’s captaincy when asked about the cricketer's leadership qualities.
“A captain is the sole leader of the team but still has to prove himself through performance. Quite early to decide whether there should be a single captain for all three formats or not. For now, I still have to analyse Babar Azam as captain.”
Pak-India bilateral cricket
Ramiz said that the board will not run after India for the resumption of bilateral series.
“Pakistan and India cricket series is not possible right now. Sports has been left behind due to current political scenarios and even Pakistan, for now, is not in a hurry to play with India,” he said, adding that he wanted Pakistan to change history by winning the all-important game against India in T20 World Cup.
Earlier on Monday, Ramiz was elected as the new chairman of the PCB in a special meeting of the Board of Governors.
Ramiz became the third international cricketer – after Abdul Hafeez Kardar (1972-1977), Javed Burki (1994-1995), and Ijaz Butt (2008-2011) – to become the PCB chairman.