Indians troll Pakistani commentator Rameez Raja for taking a dig at MS Dhoni's BCCI contract

Updated: Jul 10, 2017, 18:18 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Former Pakistan batsman Rameez Raja questioning former India skipper MS Dhoni's Grade A contract has earned him the ire of Indians on social media with Twitterati roasting the commentator

Rameez Raja's dig at MS Dhoni has earned him Indians' ire on social media
Rameez Raja's dig at MS Dhoni has earned him Indians' ire on social media

Former Pakistan batsman Rameez Raja questioned why the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was still awarding MS Dhoni with a 'Grade A' contract even though the ex-India Test captain was just a limited overs player now.

To emphasis his point, he also commented on Pakistan Cricket Board still awarding former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi, who has retired from the longer format of the game, a Grade ‘A’ contract, Rameez said that Asia's cricket governing bodies needed to respect Tests and utilise the money to promote the game instead of paying such players.

He called on national governing bodies such as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to play their part in keeping Test cricket alive.

"You have to acknowledge and respect the status of Test match cricket and it has to come from the cricket boards, in Asia specifically," he said.

"For example, MS Dhoni retired from Test cricket yet got the A-grade contract from the BCCI, Shahid Afridi retired from Test cricket yet got the A-grade contract from PCB. "It is under a lot of stress in Asia but if we have a properly planned Test match championship, that's the way out of this, otherwise we will be struggling to put aside as much money as is available for the T20 leagues," Raja insisted.

All this rhetoric was part of his effort to keep Test cricekt alive. He urged the International Cricket Council to set aside a two-month window solely for Test matches in a bid to preserve the longest form of the game. While crowds for Tests in countries such as England remain strong, Raja, a member of the influential MCC world cricket committee, fears interest in Asia is "dwindling" thanks partly to the rise of lucrative domestic Twenty20 competitions such as the Indian Premier League. "I feel that the ICC has a decent plan in the shape of the World Test Championship," said Raja after a committee meeting at Lord's.

"There should be a window for that and everything else should stop for a period of two months so the best players are available to play Test cricket."

He added: "It's got to get better. In Asia, for example, because of poor Test match scheduling, the interest is dwindling. "When you go back home you are never sure if you are going to have a one-Test series, a two-Test series or whether you are going to have a Test series at all."

Raja's comment on Dhoni earning drew the ire of Indians on social media with most slamming the Pakistani legend for interferring in Indian affairs.

Rameez Raja's attack on Dhoni mirrors the one made by cricket historian, author and former Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) Ramachandra Guha, who in his farewell note to Vinod Rai, head of the COA, has said, "The 'superstar' culture that afflicts the BCCI means that the more famous the player (former or present) the more leeway he is allowed in violating norms and procedures. (Dhoni was captain of the Indian team while holding a stake in a firm that represented some current India players.) This must stop -- and only we can stop it."

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