The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shaharyar’s vote for Rameez
- Pakistan Cricket Board chief executive to stay put
The chairman didn’t discuss my future with our patron. Surely, General Musharraf has more important issues to tackle — Rameez Raja

Silchar: The anti-Rameez Raja campaign by a section of the Media, with an English daily founded by the Quaid-e-Azam playing the lead role, reached ridiculous heights on Friday when the newspaper even named his successor as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive!

In fact, by the afternoon, the PCB prepared a strongly-worded statement denying that chairman Shaharyar Khan had decided to replace Rameez (a former captain) with one-time bureaucrat A.S. Arif. Significantly, Shaharyar personally took the initiative to set the record straight.

“The daily has reported a load of rubbish, nothing less…By the time I spoke to the chairman, he had already set the rejoinder-ball rolling,” Rameez told The Telegraph, when contacted on his cellphone.

Strangely, the newspaper identified Rameez’s ‘successor’ without quoting anybody. Moreover, the timing — just a couple of days after Shaharyar’s meeting with General Pervez Musharraf, the PCB patron — suggested the change had the blessings of the powers-that-be in Islamabad.

Laughing, Rameez added: “No, the chairman didn’t discuss my future with our patron. Surely, General Musharraf has more important issues to tackle and I’m definitely not a priority…Bottomline is that I’m continuing as the chief executive.”

Among other things, however, General Musharraf and Shaharyar did discuss the “revamping of domestic cricket” with the former indicating that PTV will be directed to “liberally” televise domestic matches from the 2004-05 season. PTV is under government control.

To get back to Rameez, he has an “open contract” and has been the chief executive for the past 13 months. He was hand-picked by Shaharyar’s predecessor, Lt Gen. (Retd) Tauqir Zia, but stayed on under the new dispensation after a call from General Musharraf himself.

Whatever his detractors may say, Rameez deserves a handsome share of the credit for the PCB’s most luminous feather (of recent times) in its cap — excellent hosting of the high-voltage tour by Team India. His TV assignments, which had the approval of the earlier ‘regime’ as well, weren’t a hindrance.

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