The cricketing world has realised that Pakistan cannot be continued to be treated the way it has been in the last decade and, according to Ramiz Raja, it is the result of that realisation that the country has been awarded the rights to host the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy.
The Pakistan Cricket Board chairman said after New Zealand and and England’s pull-out from their respective tour to the country in earlier this year, Pakistan’s narrative was strong at the international stage.
“We spoke the truth, we spoke from her heart, it was an emotional turbulance that we had to face,” said Ramiz. “The world undersood our hurt and it had also realised that we have put in a huge effort.”
Ramiz also credited Pakistan’s performance at the recently-concluded T20 World Cup for representing the country in the best-possible way on the field.
Pakistan won five of their six matches at the showpiece, ending their tournament after a close battle against eventual winners Australia in the semi-finals.
He said Pakistan’s performance also determines the relevance of the PCB.
“Our cricketing abilities have been noticed,” said the former Pakistan captain. “We have our business in cricket and if the team doesn’t do well things aren’t perfect. The team should do well and we have to promote ourselves through the team and project ourselves through it.”
Ramiz revealed it took a huge mental effort and numerous discussions for the ICC and other members nations to get convinced about Pakistan’s ability to host big international events.
“They went through the pros and cons and after hectic conversations and going through the details they came to a conclusion that Pakistan is fit to undertake, to launch, to administer and to boss such an event,” he said.
The PCB chief also appreciated the efforts which were put in by previous administrations to help Pakistan get to this stage and eventually win the Champions Trophy hosting honours.
“We’ve been consistent in our efforts to bring cricket back to Pakistan in the last 10 years and we’ve convinced the world by taking baby steps along the way,” said Ramiz. “Its really tough to present your case and achieve success. It took time to change Pakistan’s perspective.
“Many people have worked hard to make this happen.”