Renowned commentator Ramiz Raja expressed discontent over the one-sided nature of the Pakistan-Zimbabwe Test series and claimed that such lop-sided affairs will drive ardent fans away from the sport. Both the Tests ended as inning defeats for Zimbabwe, and Raja described the same as a ‘joke’.
Not a lot was expected on the ‘thrill’ front when it was announced that an in-form Pakistan will play Zimbabwe in a two-Test series, and, eventually, the actual result of the series surprised none. Fielding their full-strength side, the visitors, Pakistan, hammered Zimbabwe across both the Tests and remarkably registered innings wins in both the matches, not breaking a sweat in the process. The series turned out to be more about individuals and less about the actual contest, and renowned commentator Ramiz Raja has now lashed out at the uncompetitive nature of the two games.
Raja described the one-sided nature of the series as a ‘joke’ and added that such lifeless contests will shoo fans away from the sport and end up killing Test cricket.
“Some people are of the opinion that when a weak team plays a strong one, you need to focus on what you learn from it rather than the outcome of the match. You learn from the stronger team’s process and the way it adapts to the changing situation of a game. But I don’t think Zimbabwe learned anything from this series because they were continuously dominated by Pakistan. Also, there was no difference in their performance in the second Test as compared to the first one,” said Raja on his official YouTube channel, reported cricketpakistan.pk.
“Such mismatch series should not take place. Test cricket is already under pressure and very few people watch it. If you show them such one-sided matches, then they will switch to watching football or other sports. Three-day Test match is a joke,” he added.
A mass exodus of players, coupled with administrative issues, has seen Zimbabwe cricket fall off a cliff in the past decade and a half, and Raja expressed that it was disheartening to see the gradual decline of the country’s cricket team. The former Pakistan batsman advised Zimbabwe to focus on purely white-ball cricket and forget about playing the longest format of the game.
“It’s sad to see Zimbabwe’s current state because they were a very competitive team back in the day. Their team in the 1992 World Cup had three or four world class players who could take the game away from you if proper planning was not done,” he said.
“There has been a gradual deterioration in their system and structure along with corruption in cricket board. There was also tussle between black and white people. This performance is a reflection of this deterioration over the past 15-20 years. I hope they do well in the future but for now they should not play Test cricket and concentrate only on white-ball cricket.”