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Ramiz Raja Issues Stern Warning to PCT Ahead of World Cup

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The former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Ramiz Raja, has delivered a stern message to the Pakistan cricket team following their valiant but ultimately unsuccessful performance against New Zealand in a warm-up match for the Cricket World Cup 2023.

Expressing his concern over Pakistan’s recent trend of losing matches, Raja emphasized the need for the team to target scores exceeding 400 runs if their bowlers fail to deliver on the grand stage.

“While it was just a practice game, a win is a win, and winning becomes a habit. However, it appears that Pakistan is developing a habit of losing. First, they suffered a defeat in the Asia Cup, and now here. Despite Pakistan’s commendable score of 345, it was New Zealand’s exceptional run-chase that sealed the victory. If similar pitches are encountered, especially in India, Pakistan will have to set its sights on scoring 400 runs or more, especially when the bowling performance falters. Adaptation and taking calculated risks will be crucial, rather than sticking to a defensive approach for the initial overs,” Raja conveyed to reporters.

In the thrilling warm-up match, Rachin Ravindra and Kane Williamson played pivotal roles in New Zealand’s successful pursuit of a target of 346 runs. They secured a five-wicket victory, showcasing their resilience and determination in the Cricket World Cup warm-up encounter held in Hyderabad.

While Pakistan, led by Mohammed Rizwan’s impressive century and Babar Azam’s solid innings, posted a competitive total of 345-5 after opting to bat first, New Zealand’s batsmen displayed exceptional composure in their chase. The absence of Pakistan’s pace spearhead, Shaheen Shah Afridi, presented an opportunity for New Zealand.

Williamson, who marked his return to the field after a six-month absence due to a knee injury, participated in the match solely as a batsman. His 50-ball innings played a vital role in New Zealand’s victory before he retired out.

As the Cricket World Cup 2023 approaches, Pakistan will need to address its concerns and focus on both its batting and bowling strengths to compete at the highest level. The comments from Ramiz Raja serve as a timely reminder of the challenges that lie ahead for the team.

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