“May the smiles on the faces of our passionate fans never go away" - Ramiz Raja shares special message for Pakistan fans 

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja. Pic: PCB
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja. Pic: PCB

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja shared a special message for fans as the National T20 Cup got underway in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

Pakistan cricket has been thrown into turmoil after New Zealand and England recently pulled out of their respective tours to the country. While the Kiwis cited a security threat, the ECB gave "mental health concerns" as the reason for backing out.

Taking to his official Twitter account on Thursday, Raja shared a message of hope for Pakistani cricket while announcing the commencement of the T20 competition.

“Jhukna nahi, abhi aur hai faasla (don’t bow down, we have a long way to go). T20 cricket returns to the wonderful city of Rawalpindi today. May the best team win, and more importantly, may the smiles on the faces of our passionate fans never go away. #KhelTouHoRahaHai.”

Incidentally, Rawalpindi was scheduled to host the first ODI of the series against New Zealand last week, but the Kiwis pulled out before the start of the match.

The National T20 Cup will be held in Pakistan from September 23 to October 13. Apart from Rawalpindi, Multan will also host a few matches. The knockout games will be played in Lahore.

“Feeling of being used and then binned”- Ramiz Raja on Pakistan tour cancellations

Reacting strongly to the ECB and NZC’s decision to abandon their respective tours of Pakistan, Rameez Raja earlier this week stated he felt like he had been "used and then binned".

"It's the feeling of being used and then binned. That's the feeling I have right now. A little bit of hand-holding, a little bit of caring was needed after the New Zealand pull out and we didn't get that from England which is so frustrating,” Raja was quoted as telling reporters.

Taking a further dig at the ECB, he stated:

"We've been going out of our way to meet the international demands, being such a responsible member of the cricketing fraternity, and in return we get a response from ECB saying the players were spooked by New Zealand's withdrawal. What does that mean?"

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Pakistan visited England for three Tests and as many T20Is.

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