Ramiz Raja condemns ‘undue pressure’ on Babar, Rizwan

Ramiz said that the new management is trying to create controversies around Babar for no reason

Ramiz Raja condemns ‘undue pressure’ on Babar, Rizwan PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja has condemned the ‘undue pressure’ created on national men’s all-format captain Babar Azam and wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan.  

"I believe Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan were under immense pressure,” Raja said while addressing an event at Government College University in Lahore on Tuesday. 

“Babar was scoring runs, but because of the tough home Test season there was undue pressure created on Babar. This is how the dressing room environment is disturbed."

The former cricketer spoke against the omission of Rizwan in the recently concluded red-ball series against Kiwis. 

"Mohammad Rizwan was also under pressure as he was dropped from the Tests against New Zealand,” he said. “Because Pakistan have backup wicketkeeping options, Rizwan had to perform and bounce back which is not an easy thing to do.” 

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Both Rizwan and Babar scored half-centuries in the first ODI against New Zealand to lead Pakistan 1-0 in the ongoing three-match series in Karachi. 

Ramiz said the new management should avoid experimenting in the white-ball format by appointing new vice-captains as Babar have developed a certain comfort level with Rizwan. 

"Why was Rizwan removed as vice-captain for no reason? Who was going to benefit from this decision?” the former cricketer asked, adding there is no ‘bigger solider’ than Rizwan in the team. 

It’s important to mention that while Shan Masood was appointed vice-captain of the ODI team, he didn’t replace Rizwan but Shadab Khan who missed out on being part of the squad due to finger injury. 

Some reports suggested that Babar was unhappy with the decision and was not consulted. Masood was also not part of the playing XI in the first ODI despite being named the vice-captain a few days earlier. 

Ramiz said that the new management of PCB is trying to create controversies around Babar for no reason. “Pakistan played well in the last year or two because they were distant from controversies and the roles were defined,” he said.