'India ne hamko respect dena shuru kar diya hai': Ramiz Raja's huge 'billion dollar industry' remark before T20 WC clash
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Ramiz Raja, also a former cricketer, believes that the recent head-to-head tie has resulted in India taking the present Pakistan side more seriously as a team and hence wants critics to credit the Babar Azam-led side for having the edge over a “billion-dollar team”.
India and Pakistan may not be involved in bilateral series any longer, but with their rivalry restricted to just multi-nation events like in ICC tournaments or Asia Cup, but the Men in Blue still lead the head-to-head to tie across formats and events. But Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Ramiz Raja, also a former cricketer, believes that the recent head-to-head tie has resulted in India taking the present Pakistan side more seriously as a team and hence wants critics to credit the Babar Azam-led side for having the edge over a “billion-dollar team”.
Until last October, India were undefeated against Pakistan in World Cup meetings, winning all 12 matches - seven in ODIs and five in T20Is. However, in the three times the two sides have faced each other in the last 12 months, Pakistan have won twice - one in 2021 T20 World Cup opener and other in 2022 Asia Cup.
Speaking to Dawn with just a fortnight away from the blockbuster 2022 T20 World Cup tie in Melbourne, Ramiz opined that a India-Pakistan match is more a mental battle than a physical one. He said that previously Pakistan were considered underdogs in World Cup matches against India, but with things changing, even the Men in Blue have started respecting Pakistan as a more serious cricketing side. He hence was fans and critics to hail Babar and Co. for beating this “billion-dollar side" given the limited resources they have compared to their Indian counterpart.
“Skill aur talent se zyada mental match hota hain yeh. So agar aap temperamentally strong he and mentally focussed he aur haar manne ko taiyar nahi hain toh chhoti team bhi badi team ko hara sakti hain. And Pakistan humesha se underdogs rahein hain jab bhi India se muqabla huye hain, but of late, unhone hume respect dena shuru kardiya hain kyunki unke khayal me yeh hain ki Pakistan hume kabhi hara hi nehi sakte. So yehi main kehta hu ki Pakistan ko credit dijiye kyunki ek billion-dollar team cricket industry ko hum harate he. Main toh khud World Cups khela hu, humlog toh India ko nehi hara paate the. Iss team ko credit dena chaiye kyunki limited resources, compared to India, se prepare karte he and tagda muqabla karte hain,” he said.
India will face Pakistan on October 23 in their 2022 T20 World Cup opener at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.