Ramiz Raja’s first goal is to see Pakistan beat arch-rival India in its opening T20 World Cup game on Oct. 24. Pakistan have never beaten India in a World Cup game, either in the 50-over or T20 format, losing all six matches.
“It’s a show-stopper, there’s no doubt about that,” Raja said about the India game. “When I talked to the cricket team I told them that this time we have to turn the tables.”
Raja backed the Pakistan team announced for the T20 World Cup in which experienced opening batsman Fakhar Zaman and leg-spinner Usman Qadir were not named in a 15-member squad but will travel with the team as reserves.
“The national side has the potential to win the World Cup and we need to back the side selected for the global event,” he said. “Pakistan cricket’s DNA consists of fearlessness, and we need to define a proper model and provide clarity to achieve desired results.”
Raja also backed the domestic cricket structure in which only six teams participate in first-class tournaments. He also announced an increase of 100,000 rupees ($600) a month in the contracts of 192 domestic cricketers.
“It is our duty to care for our cricketers and continue to take measures which strengthen our system,” he said. “This will also play a role in ending any uncertainty surrounding the current cricket structure. The welfare of present and former cricketers is paramount to me.”