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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja said on Friday that he wanted to maintain good relations with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif after former premier Imran Khan “cut off contact with him.”

“Imran Bhai cut off contact with me after being removed from office. We haven’t spoken in a long time,” Ramiz said while addressing a press conference in Lahore.

Addressing speculations about his removal as PCB chief, Ramiz said that if anything was to happen, it would have in the first two-and-a-half months. Imran Khan was removed through a no-confidence vote in April.

“We can’t live amid rumours; I believe there is a need for continuity apart from political differences.

“See, our prime minister is our patron-in-chief. We have requested his time, and if he meets with us, we will tell him about our work. I don’t think there is any need for ego here because, in the end, we all want to uplift cricket,” the former captain added.

“If there is anything in the constitution about removing the PCB chairman every time, go ahead with it. Otherwise, satisfying individual desires will not benefit the game.”

“The ball is in his [PM Shehbaz’s] court,” the PCB chief concluded.

Among other issues, the PCB chairman also revealed that the Board of Governors (BoG) had approved Rs15 billion budget for the PCB for the upcoming fiscal year.

According to the chairman, 78 percent of the budget will be spent on cricket-related activities, including the inaugural of the Pakistan Junior League (PJL), the PCB chairman’s dream project.

Ramiz also revealed information about central contracts after the BoG approved the budget.

Apart from the operational budget, the BoG also approved funding for infrastructure and stadium upgrades, including floodlights, replay screens, player dressing rooms, and new spectator chairs in anticipation of the ACC 50-over Asia Cup 2023 and the ICC Champions Trophy 2025, which will be held in Pakistan.

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