Rameez Raja Biography
Rameez Hasan Raja is a former cricketer who represented the Pakistan cricket team. Born on the 14th of August, 1962, Raja was a right-handed batsman and an occasional leg-break bowler.
Rameez made his first-class cricket debut in 1978. Though he did not have a good start to his domestic career, he scored 579 runs at an average of 44.53 in the 82-83 season and 1249 runs at 40.43 in the following season that made an impression on the selectors.
Rameez Raja made his international debut in a test match on the 2nd of March, 1984. Though his team beat England by 3 wickets, he scored just one run in each innings and had a forgettable outing.
However, with the retirement of key players in the national squad and with the help of his experience in first-class cricket, Raja was able to find a spot in the senior side. But he did not make any significant contributions to the test side.
The ODI call came almost a year later against New Zealand in which he scored 75(84) but ended up on the losing side.
Rise to Glory
Raja was a stylish batsman. He delighted the fans with his elegant stroke-play. The flick to square leg soon became a signature stroke. Raja became an integral figure in the ODI setup and played a key role in the 1987 and 1992 World Cup.
In the 1988 tri-series in Australia, he slammed back to back hundreds that enhanced his reputation. The opener is credited with taking the catch that won Pakistan the World Cup in 1992.
He also scored two hundred in the tournament. His 102 against West Indies ended in a losing cause but an elegant 119 against New Zealand guided Pakistan to victory.
Raja was the first player to be given out for obstructing the field. In 1987 at Karachi, England had scored 263 runs for 6 wickets during their 44 over innings. Rameez Raja was on 98 and Pakistan needed 25 runs of the final over. He hit the ball and ran for two runs but was well short of the crease when he knocked the ball away with his bat.
Though the stylish opener became a regular in ODI squad, he failed to make an impact in the test arena. In 57 Tests, he averaged just 31.83 with centuries against Sri Lanka and India.
Raja bid adieu to international cricket at the age of 35. He played his last match against India in which he was the skipper. He was out for a golden duck though his team won the game by 10 wickets.
Post-retirement, Raja was appointed as the CEO of Pakistan Cricket Board and was instrumental in improving the cricketing relationship between India and Pakistan. The 2004 series was the results of his efforts.
Currently, he does commentary for all international matches featuring Pakistan.