Ramiz Raja credits Babar Azam’s authority, leadership for turnaround in 2021


PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja. File photo
PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja. File photo

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ramiz Raja Wednesday appreciated the team’s performance in 2021, crediting skipper Babar Azam’s leadership and authority for the national squad’s resurgence.

The Pakistan cricket team has been impressive this year, winning  20 T20I matches  – the most by any side in a calendar year – including the historic victory against India in the ICC Men’s World Cup 2021.

The 67th meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG) of the PCB was held on Tuesday which also discussed Pakistan men’s cricket team performances and other issues.

The PCB chairman highlighted Babar Azam’s authority, leadership and impact on the side as one of the factors that led to the national squad excelling in most of the matches that they played.

He also credited the calm influence of Saqlain Mushtaq (interim head coach), Matthew Hayden (batting consultant) and Vernon Philander (bowling consultant) as the other contributing factor. 

Raja said that the trio were able to create a relaxed team environment that, in turn, allowed the team to excel, particularly during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. 

The board members appreciated the team’s performance and felt that they came significantly close to meeting expectations of their fans in the last quarter of 2021 through their grit, determination and positive attitude.

An extensive discussion on handling the players’ workload was also held in view of a long and demanding international cricket period that awaits the Pakistan men’s cricket team.

The BoG requested the PCB management to explore options and submit suggestions on how elite cricketers can preserve their energies for Pakistan by remaining supremely fit, injury-free and fresh.

West Indies tour

West Indies will play three Twenty20 Internationals in the build up to the Pakistan Super League 2023. The West Indies team are already scheduled to play ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs in June 2022 to make up for the postponed December 2021 matches due to an increased number of COVID-19 cases in their side.

The BoG also approved the construction of 60 additional (international quality) player rooms each at the National High Performance Centre in Lahore and Hanif Mohammad High Performance Centre in Karachi.

When completed, this will resolve the PCB’s challenges around logistics, security and road commuting, as well as setting-up and handling the Managed Event Environment.

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