Wife: Ambreen Ramiz Raja
Age: 61 Years
Some Lesser Known Facts About Ramiz Raja
- Ramiz Raja is a former international cricketer who played for Pakistan from 1984 to 1997. He was part of Pakistan’s squad that won the 1992 ICC World Cup under the captaincy of Imran Khan. After retiring, he worked as a cricket commentator for BBC and Ten Sports. On 13 September 2021, he became the 36th Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the second time and the fourth test cricketer to do so after Ijaz Butt, Javed Burki, and Abdul Hafeez Kardar.
- Hours after his selection for the role, Pakistan’s head coach Misbah-Ul-Haq and Bowling coach Waqar Younis submitted their resignations. He played a key role in hiring Late Bob Woolmer as Pakistan’s head coach who took Pakistan to a historic win in the 2009 ICC T20 World Cup Finals. He is also credited for the launch of the First National Cricket Academy in Pakistan.
- Before rising to fame, Ramiz Raja was once employed in American Express Bank as a Banker after completing his MBA.
- He played a crucial role in guiding Pakistan to the 1987 World Cup semi-finals and Pakistan’s historic victory in the 1992 World Cup finals where he took the final catch that won the team their first World Cup ever.
- He has an ancestral background in Jaipur, Rajasthan while his in-laws are from Delhi and Karnal. Since childhood, he was a bright student. He comes from a sports background where her father and grandfather were national-level cricketers while his mother was excellent in Badminton.
- He is the younger brother of Wasim Raja, who played for Pakistan from 1976 to 1995. Interestingly, both the brothers have played the same number of Test matches for Pakistan (57 Tests). His cousin Atif Raul has also represented Pakistan in 1994. Apart from that, his father also played cricket for Multan, so as his nephew Ali Wasim Raja who played for Surrey Second XI. Following his brother’s footsteps, he started playing cricket, at an age of eight. After playing for the school team, he soon started playing List-A matches in 1976.
- He hasn’t had the best of starts in his International career when he scored just one run in both the innings of the test match against England under the captaincy of Zaheer Abbas. He missed the second test due to his poor form but was given a chance in the final test match where he could manage 26 and 0 runs in both innings. Pakistan went on to win the series 1-0.
- In February 1985, he got the chance to represent his side in One-day Internationals against New Zealand during the 3rd ODI. Pakistan was given the target of 265 runs to win. In reply, Pakistan at one moment were 129 for 6 after losing the key wicket of Zaheer Abbas. In walked Ramiz Raja who held the nerves for Pakistan with 108 runs partnership with Anil Dalpat and took the score to 237 runs before getting run-out. Pakistan lost the match by 13 runs but Ramiz Raja being the top scorer for the side with 75 runs of 76 balls. He was again impressive with 59 runs of 83 balls during the fourth ODI against the same team. Pakistan lost that series by 3-0.
- Ramiz Raja then took part in the Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket in 1985 a few days later, but manage to score only 53 runs in the first three ODIs, which Pakistan won convincingly. Then came the match against the Caribbeans where Pakistan was given the target of 160 runs. Pakistan lost their opening batsman Mudassar Nazar cheaply. Ramiz came one-down. He held a steady partnership with Mohsin Khan scoring 60 runs and took Pakistan to an easy win by seven wickets in 46 overs. Pakistan then defeated India in the finals by eight wickets.
- On 25 October 1985, during the Sri Lankan tour of the Pakistan ODI game, Sri Lanka scored 228 runs in 38-overs (overs reduced due to rain). In reply, Pakistan lost their opening batsmen in 53 runs. Ramiz along with Javed Miandad held a 77-runs partnership and took Pakistan to a five-wicket win. Ramiz contributed with 56 runs of 56 balls. He again shined with a bat with 45 runs in the next match. Pakistan won the ODI series 4-0.
- Then came the Test series where he got the chance to play in the third test match against the same side. Pakistan won that match by ten wickets where Ramiz was the second higher scorer for Pakistan with 52 runs.
- On 17 November 1985, he took part in a Rothmans Sharjah Cup held in Sharjah against arch-rivals India where his contribution of 66 runs helped Pakistan to put 203 runs on the board and won the match by 48 runs. His form dipped after that where he couldn’t even manage a fifty for the next few months of his international cricket.
- On 22 March 1986, in a test match against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka batting first made cautious progress, scoring 191 runs for 4 on day one. The next day, they could only add 90 runs to the scorecard. Pakistan in reply, getting out of the early trouble, Ramiz led the side from 180 for 5 to 318 runs with his maiden Test century. The game ended in a draw.
- In a bilateral series against India on 18 February 1987, India scored quickfire 238 runs. In reply, Ramiz Raja held a steady opening partnership of 106 runs with Younis Ahmed and took Pakistan to a historic win. He was the second-highest scorer for Pakistan in a match scoring 58 runs. Interestingly, this match was held at Eden Gardens in Calcutta (now Kolkata) where 90,000 spectators came to see the match.
- A few days later, Pakistan defeated Australia by eight wickets in One-day where Ramiz scored 56 runs. During the Pakistan tour of India 1986-87, the first two test matches ended in a draw. It was a chance for Ramiz to show his class after suffering from a poor form. Sawai Mansingh Stadium (Jaipur) was hosting the test match for the first time in February 1987. Pakistan’s President General Zia was in the stadium as part of his Cricket for Peace mission. Having batted first, India put on 465 runs. Pakistan on the other hand sent Ramiz Raja and Shoib Mohammad for opening the innings, and Ramiz didn’t disappoint. He scored 114 runs and took his side to 341 runs. Later, India while batting, a controversy took place when the pitch was behaving abnormally due to which, Pakistan claimed that it was due to the curator sprinkling sawdust on the pitch and Pakistan’s captain eventually defused the situation by abandoning play for the day. This time again, the game ended in a draw.
- He carried his form forward in ODIs as well against India in a Sharjah Cup a few days later, where they restricted India to 183 runs. Pakistan on the other hand, with a solid knock of 53 runs by Ramiz surpassed this score in 42nd over.
- Then came the 1987 World Cup jointly held in India and Pakistan. In the opening game itself on 8 October, Pakistan started off in a great fashion with Ramiz scoring 76 runs while opening against Sri Lanka and took the team’s score to 267 runs for the loss of six wickets. Sri Lanka on the other hand fought hard and chipped in with 252 runs but lost the match. However, he could not do much in the next two games against England and West Indies, but still, Pakistan managed a win by a small margin against both the fierce sides.
- In the next game, Pakistan secured their place into the semis with a seven-wicket win against England. Ramiz Raja came up with his maiden century in ODI cricket by scoring 113 runs off 148 balls. Though, he was given two easy chances by the fielders on his score of 6 and 62 runs. In the next match, he scored 70 runs, though his side lost the match against the mighty West Indians. Pakistan then lost the semi-finals against Australia who went on to win their maiden World Cup title.
- In November 1987, England toured Pakistan and it is the first time in his career when he got out on nervous nineties in One-Day internationals. England put on 263 runs on the board. In reply, Ramiz fought hard and took the score to 240 for 8 until he was dismissed on 99 through “Obstructing the Field” when he was looking for the second run to complete his hundred. Interestingly, it was Ramiz’s hattrick unusual dismissals against England.
- From March to October 1988, Ramiz was in his peak form in ODIs scoring 273 runs off 5 games. On 10 December 1988 in an ODI match against West Indies during Benson & Hedges World Series, West Indies scored 269 runs in 47 overs. Ramiz on the other hand carried the team score to 180 runs before losing seven wickets. He contributed with 69 runs not out.
- Later, his form got dipped for the next few months. It was only until the tour of New Zealand where he came up with a splendid performance of the series with 224 runs off four matches. In the 3rd ODI, Ramiz went on to score his second ODI century and took his side to an easy victory. Pakistan was always on the upper hand during the match. New Zealand scored 249 runs. In reply, Ramiz has promoted up the order and scored 101 runs chasing the target in the 49th over. He was adjudged Man of the Match in that game.
- In October 1989, Pakistan reached the semis of the Nehru Cup taking place in the Indian sub-continent. Their match was against England. Pakistan was given the target of 195 runs in 30 overs. Pakistan lost their first three wickets within 69 runs on the board, then Ramiz held the nerves and made a 122 runs partnership with Saleem Malik and took the score close to the target before Saleem got out on 66 runs. Pakistan won the match comprehensively. It was the first time in his international career he could achieve a strike rate of more than 100.
- During India’s tour of Pakistan in November 1989 in tests, Ramiz scored 223 runs in his seven innings and helped the hosts to draw the four-match series. A few months later, Ramiz came up with a score of 116 and 107 not out against Sri Lanka in ODIs during the Benson & Hedges World Series. In November 1990, New Zealand toured Pakistan where Ramiz chipped in with his second-highest score of 114 in ODIs and took the score to 223 runs in 40 overs. Against the mighty score, New Zealand could only score 118 runs. He was adjudged Man of the Match in that game.
- A few months later, in October 1991, saw the most interesting game of cricket during that time. Against the score of 236 runs, West Indies could manage 235 runs and lost the game by one run. Ramiz came up with 90 runs off 129 balls. One month later, during the Sri Lanka tour of Pakistan, in the first test match, Ramiz chipped with 98 runs and helping the side to draw the game. This followed up with 51 and 63 runs in the next two test matches against the same side.
- His 6th ODI century came in the 1992 World Cup when he scored 102 runs but could not prevent his side from a defeat against the Carribeans. Pakistan reached the semis and their match was against the Kiwis. Batting first, Kiwis scored 262 runs in the allotted 50 overs. In reply, Ramiz held a steady 2nd wicket partnership of 54 runs with captain Imran Khan and chased the target in the 49th over. Ramiz had the valuable contribution of 44 runs in the match.
- Then came the finals of the World Cup where they will be facing England. It is the first time Pakistan has reached the finals of a World Cup. But Ramiz could not do much and got out scoring just eight runs. It was all in Imran Khan’s hand to take the score to a comparative total. England was then given the target of 250 runs in 50 overs. They scored 108 runs losing nine wickets. Then in the 50th over, Richard Illingworth played an aerial shot after giving himself a room. The ball went up in the air. Ramiz was under it and took the catch! Pakistan was celebrating as it is the first World Cup title for them. Ramiz scored 349 runs in that World Cup event.
- In February 1992, against Sri Lanka, Ramiz along with Saeed Anwar had the best opening partnership of 204 runs in 34 overs beating their previous score against the same opponent in 1989. Ramiz Raja chipped in with 109 runs off 115 balls. Sri Lanka on the other hand scored just 167 runs and Pakistan won the finals comprehensively by 114 runs in a tri-series finals.
- He wasn’t in the best of his form after that. The last century of his ODI career came in late 1995 against West Indies at Sharjah in a Champions Trophy. Pakistan scored 242 runs where Ramiz was made the captain. He scored 104 runs coming at one-down. In reply, West Indies could only score 227 runs and lost the match by 15 runs. This was the last century of his international career. He captained the national side from 1992 to 1997 and managed to score 917 runs in that tenure.
- He played his last test match in April 1997 against Sri Lanka where he scored 36 and zero in the final inning of his test career. He was caught by the wicketkeeper Kaluwitharana off the bowling of Chaminda Vaas. The game ended in a draw. He played 57 test matches and scored 2833 runs with an average of 31.83. He scored his most runs against Sri Lanka. In Asian sub-continents, he averaged 35.08 while 1987 was the best year in his test career where he scored 520 runs in ten test matches. He played under four test captains during his entire international tenure.
- A few months later in September, Ramiz came for the final time in his international career against India in Toronto, Canada. His final match ended up with a win. Overall, he played 198 matches and scored 5841 runs with an average of 32.09. His most runs were against West Indies with 1624 runs. Just like his test career, in ODIs as well, he was best in the Asian sub-continent. He played under seven ODI captains during his tenure in international cricket. He scored 69% of his international runs while opening the innings in both formats of cricket. He has a total score of 8674 international runs.
- Ramiz Raja has a special affinity for Rajasthani architecture. He was so enamored by the Jaipur’s famous Rambagh Palace, that he modeled his house on the same lines. He revealed this in an interview with IANS and further added
“I told Nayyar Ali Dada to have it designed on the pattern of Rambagh Palace. I got to see the palace from close quarters when the Pakistani team stayed there during a Test match in February 1987.”
- Once during a match against England at WACA in 1987, Ramiz was caught by Bill Athey at mid-wicket off the bowling of Mike Gatting. Ramiz started walking without knowing that the umpire called it a no-ball. Athey threw the ball to the bowler and he removed the bails. Following the consultation, the umpire Tony Crafter has given him out. This incident happened again in the 1992 World Cup against the same opposition where Ramiz played the square-cut off the bowling of Chris Lewis, and Graeme Hick caught him at the point. Ramiz again started walking, unknowing the fact that the umpire Steve Bucknor has given it a no-ball. Graeme Hick then threw the ball to the stumps, but luckily it got missed!
- His first ODI century came against England during the 1987 World Cup at Karachi. Pakistan was given the target of 245 runs. He stood firmly on the crease and took Pakistan to a seven-wicket victory. He followed it with a back-to-back century in 1988 against Sri Lanka in Australia.
- Ramiz Raja picks Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Abdul Qadir, Wasim Akram, and Inzamam-Ul-Haq as the best Pakistani cricketers of all time. In 2016, he was made a full-time member of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).