Ramiz Raja continues to bat for young guns
ISLAMABAD: Former captain Ramiz Raja continues to bat for young guns, insisting that Pakistan will have to give them chance in limited-overs game to prepare a strong future outfit.
The 57-year-old, who is an articulate voice both as cricket commentator and analyst the world over, has recently been involved in a public spat with veteran duo of Muhammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik when he urged them to retire gracefully. In a recent interview, he had also asked Pakistan Cricket Board and head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq to focus on the future by giving chances to the youngsters.
He once again reiterated his stance on Thursday while talking to former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar on an ESPNcricinfo podcast. “Pakistan need to introduce young blood in white-ball cricket. It’s as simple as that. There’s no point in going back to the have-beens,” Ramiz said.
“It’s a format where you introduce young talent. That’ll increase you cricketing canvass as they may go on to play Test cricket for you as well. I think it’s a mindset that has to change,” he said.
According to Ramiz, unless the young players get a place in the team it would not be possible to know the real talent they possessed. “If the young guns are not given a space in white-ball cricket, [then] how would we know they are not the ones for the future?” he asked.
“I think this is the typical Pakistani mindset that come the World Cup you must have a lot of experience to win the games,” he reckoned.
Underling the need for a balanced outfit, Ramiz was of the view that relying totally on experienced players would not be a prudent choice. He said he understood the value of experience but there was still a lot of space for young kids as well to come and do well.
“It has got to be a win-win situation where you don’t oversee the importance of experience. You can’t bank yourself completely on the back of a 37-year or 38-year-old, and not one but three or four [such player],” added Ramiz, who retired from Test and One Day Cricket in 1997 when he was 35.
It merits a mention here that last month while expressing his views about the fifth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL), Ramiz stated that the country had found some exciting and breakout batting talent. “For the past several years we were eager to see whether [like bowling] the PSL would provide the country talent in batting or not. Finally, after four years of hard effort we’ve found young exciting batting talent,” he had stated.
He had in particular mentioned Haider Ali (Peshawar Zalmi), Zeeshan Ashraf (Multan Sultans), Azam Khan (Quetta Gladiators) and Khusdil Shah (Multan Sultans) stating that they played outstandingly in the event and could become world class articles if proper attention was paid on them. - APP