Ramiz Hasan Raja
August 14, 1962, Lyallpur (now Faisalabad), Punjab
Also Known As
Right hand bat
On and off the field, in Pakistan cricket, it will be difficult to find a more stylish man than Ramiz Raja. In Pakistan's post-90s mess of scandal, dirt and intrigue, he also emerged, importantly, as a rare man of integrity and considerable dignity on the field and in administration.
As an opening batsman Raja arrived on the scene the next Majid Khan. His basic game was built on solid, understated elegance. Some of the leg-side play was outstanding and the flick to square leg soon became a signature stroke. Why he didn't score more runs in Tests remains a mystery, though his importance to Pakistan's strong ODI sides of the 80s and early 90s cannot be underestimated. In the World Cups of 1987 and 1992 he was a key figure and as well as taking the catch that won it for Pakistan in 1992, he scored two hundreds through the tournament.
His integrity and seniority helped him in captaining Pakistan late in his career, but the qualities became of greater use after he retired. First, as a bright, dynamic chief executive of the Pakistan board he was instrumental in bringing about a prosperous period in the early 2000s, including negotiating a breakthrough in Pakistan-India ties. The series won an important Laureus award for bringing the countries together through cricket. But by then he had also become an articulate voice of Pakistan the world over as a television commentator. That career has gone from strength to strength so that in the modern turmoil of Pakistan cricket, Raja's has been an authoritative, informed and sane voice amid the madness.
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