Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja recently made a strong statement about the India-Pakistan cricket equation. Ramiz underscored how the Indian team had begun to “respect” Pakistan as an opponent, also calling Rohit Sharma’s men a “billion dollar side”. When India’s stalwart Ravichandran Ashwin was briefed on Ramiz’s remarks, he responded appropriately. Ashwin said in a news conference from Australia on Monday that he was not aware of Ramiz’s comments until just briefed.
“Until you said that, I didn’t know he made a statement like that. That’s one way to deal with it,” Ashwin said when speaking to reporters in Perth.
‘But look, it’s a cricket game. Regardless of the political tensions and whatever remains between the teams, the rivalry is strong, it means a lot to people from both countries. But at the end of the day, whatever you may say as a cricketer and as someone who plays this sport, you understand that winning and losing is part of the game, especially in this format the margins will be so tight,” he added.
Earlier, speaking to Pakistan’s Dawn news agency, Ramiz Raja explained how far the men’s national team has come in recent years, so much so that even the powerful Indians have started to pay their respects.
“Pakistan humesha se underdogs rahein hain jab bhi India se muqabla huye hain but lately unpolished 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 er (Pakistan have always been underdogs when they have played India. But lately they have started to give them respect, knowing they can be beaten in this competition “is dollar team)” Raja had said.
At last year’s T20 World Cup, Pakistan defeated India for the first time ever in a World Cup match. Never before in a World Cup match, be it in 50-over format or T20, had the neighboring country achieved a win over India before this event in the UAE.
The two teams will face off again on October 23 in the 2022 T20 World Championship opener.
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