Former PCB chairman Raja defends kicking out Waqar and Misbah as coaches

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Former PCB chairman Ramiz Raja has defended sacking of Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis from their respective coaching roles when he took over the cricket board.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) underwent a series of changes recently when Ramiz Raja was sacked as the chairman of the board, with Najam Sethi taking over as the chief of a 14-member managing committee for four months.

In addition, former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi was also brought in as an interim chief selector, with fellow ex-players Abdul Razzaq and Rao Iftikhar Anjum joining the panel.

Following the changes, Ramiz Raja went ballistic over the manner in which he was sacked and made allegations that he wasn’t even allowed to gather his belongings from his office.

However, in an interview with a private TV channel, Ramiz Raja while responding to a question that there has been significant criticism of the former PCB chairman as many have referred to the unceremonious departure of Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis under his tenure, defended his decision to send both the coaches home.

Misbah (head coach) and Waqar (bowling coach) had stepped down from the role merely days before the T20 World Cup in 2021; however, Ramiz replied that the changes were needed at the time and that it was his “right” to take the decision.

“They received their full payments for two years. They were given full respect. As a chairman, it was my right to dismiss them. Even now, they are talking about removing Saqlain Mushtaq and replacing him with Mickey Arthur. I made contracts in such a way that I didn’t want the board to be left with a coaching setup for three years,” Ramiz said.

Ramiz further stated that he had realised that the changes were needed when he was doing commentary on Pakistan games.

“We had yearly contracts. They (Misbah and Waqar) would’ve left in January/February anyway. We brought a new management. It wasn’t easy for me. I’ve played with Waqar, I talked to him in detail. The CEO talked to Misbah. It obviously didn’t look good that the change took place with a week or 10 days before the T20 World Cup. But I had an idea that we could only go to a certain extent with them.

“When I used to do commentary, I realised that a change was necessary,” said the former PCB chief.