Sourav Ganguly invited me to IPL twice, but I refused: PCB chief Ramiz Raja

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja had said that he was invited to attend the Indian Premier League (IPL) final twice but he refused to attend keeping the fan’s reaction in mind.

“Twice Ganguly has invited me to attend the IPL finals last year and this year and cricketing wise it made sense to go, but then, because of the situation, we had to look at the fallout of accepting the invitations,” Ramiz Raja said in a press conference on Friday.

The last time India and Pakistan had met on a cricket field was during the 2021 T20 World Cup, where the Babar Azam-led side secured a thumping 10-wicket win over Virat Kohli’s Team India.

Raja also said that while Pakistan is keen on playing India, the political equation between the neighbors continues to act as roadblocks.

“I have spoken to Sourav (Ganguly) on the sidelines on this and I told him that presently there are three former cricketers heading their cricket boards and if they can’t make a difference who will?,” Raja said.

The PCB has also decided to challenge the proposed two-and-a-half-month expanded window for the IPL. Raja said that the issue will be raised at the next ICC conference.

“There has been no announcement or decision as yet on the IPL window being increased. I will give my views on this issue at the ICC conference,” he said.

“My point is clear: if there is any development in world cricket that means we are being short-changed, we will challenge it in a very forceful manner and put our point across strongly in the ICC,” he added.

However, the PCB chairman is positive about the future of cricket in the country as he referred to Pakistan sealing the hosting rights for the 2025 Champions Trophy.

“If it were a cricket game, this would have been solved in two minutes. See, we secured the hosting rights for 2025 Champions Trophy, which means we have tried to break that influence and people have started recognizing that Pakistan’s team and fans deserve such world-class events,” he said.

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