Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja has been elected unopposed as the new chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday after the post had fallen vacant when Ehsan Mani had stepped down after completing his three-year term in August.
The election for the new PCB chairman was held in Lahore where the board’s Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sheikh Azmat Saeed conducted the process beside presiding over the special meeting to elect the 36th chairman.
Addressing the Board of Governors (BoG) following his election, Raja said: “I am thankful to all of you for electing me as the PCB Chairman and look forward to working with you to ensure Pakistan cricket continues to thrive and grow stronger, both on and off-the-field.”
“One of my key focuses will be to help introduce in the Pakistan men’s cricket team the same culture, mind-set, attitude and approach that once made Pakistan one of the most feared cricket playing nations. As an organisation, we all need to get behind the national team and provide them the desired assistance and support so that they can produce that brand of cricket, which the fans also expect from them each time they step on to the field of play,” he was quoted as saying by the PCB website.
Further explaining about his new role, Raja expressed: “Obviously, as a former cricketer, my other priority will be to look into the welfare of our past and present cricketers. The game has and will always be about the cricketers and, as such, they deserve more recognition and respect from their parent institution.”
Earlier on September 7, Raja had the Pakistan cricketers and urged them to don’t pay attention to the changes in the board’s management and focus on their game.
During a meeting held at the National High-Performance Center in Lahore, Raja had elaborated the players about his vision and roadmap where Pakistan’s interim coaches Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq were also present.
Significantly, Raja is Pakistan’s 18th Test and 12th ODI captain, who has featured in 255 international matches between 1984 and 1997, amassing 8,674 runs.
The 39-year-old had previously served the PCB as its Chief Executive from 2003 to 2004.
Raja had also represented Pakistan on the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee and presently sits on the MCC World Cricket Committee. In the recent times, Raja had been working as a commentator for various broadcasters around the world.
He has played 57 Tests and 198 ODIs for Pakistan, scoring 2833 and 5841 runs respectively.
Earlier in August, Mani had stepped down from the post, refusing to accept a short-term extension at the end of his three-year term.
After his resignation, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, also the patron-in-chief of the PCB, had met his former team-mate Raja where he had identified Raja as the probable candidate to take over from Mani.
Significantly, Raja is only the fourth former Pakistan international cricketer to head the PCB after Abdul Hafeez Kardar (1972-1977), Javed Burki (1994-1995) and Ijaz Butt (2008-2011).
After being appointed as the PCB chairman, Raja will hold a media conference on Monday afternoon at the Bob Woolmer Indoor School, National High Performance Centre in Lahore.