Former opening batsman and commentator Ramiz Raja believes that Ehsan Mani — who is the frontrunner for the post of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s chairman position in the upcoming election — is the ideal person to take forward Imran Khan’s vision for cricket in the country.
Raja expressed those views in a video on his YouTube channel.
“I’m hopeful that [Ehasn] Mani will work in a manner which will set aside vested interests and keep Imran Khan’s vision as his priority,” he said.
PCB chairman’s election will take place on September 4 after board’s Election Commissioner Justice (R) Afzal Haider announced the date following the formation of Board of Governors (BoG). Earlier, former Chairman Najam Sethi resigned after Khan took oath as the new premier of Pakistan.
Raja, who has represented Pakistan in 57 Tests and 198 ODIs, also backed PM Imran’s idea of following a domestic structure based on regional cricket rather than the currently operating departmental setup.
“Imran Khan is a big fan of regional cricket as it improves the quality due to fewer sides competing,” he said. “The idea of regional sides has worked in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) as well. It is now down to Mani to implement this idea at the domestic level.”
He added: “Most of the former cricketers are also in favour of the move of replacing departmental cricket with a region-based system.”
Raja — who was invited for PM Imran’s oath-taking ceremony along with other members of the 1992 World Cup winning squad — was happy to see one of their own rise up and take charge of the country.
“It is satisfying to see one of our own becoming the prime minister of the country,” he said. “It is a massive achievement and a proud moment for the entire cricket fraternity.”
Raja also shared few details about what happened in Khan’s hour-long meeting with former cricketer’s right after the ceremony.
“He shared the story of his struggle in politics which spanned over two decades,” he said. “Khan also pointed out how his experience of playing cricket aided in fighting adequately on the political front as he was equipped to deal with high-pressure situations.”