Rameez Raja, born August 14, 1962, is a former Pakistani cricketer who was more successful in One-Day International (ODI). Rameez is more famous for his stint as a commentator.
Here are 14 facts about Rameez Raja that you did not know:
1. Born on a special day
Rameez was born on the 15th anniversary of Pakistan’s Independence.
2. Belongs to the family of cricketers
Rameez is the youngest of the three Raja brothers who went on to play First-Class cricket for Pakistan. Rameez followed older brother Wasim in the Pakistan team. Their father, Raja Saleem Akhtar, also played 10 First-Class games for Multan and Sargodha.
3. Cricketing debuts
Making his List A debut in March 1977 as a 14-year-old, Rameez made his First-Class debut a year later for Servis Industries and scored 25 and 10. Six years later, he made his Test debut against England and managed one in both the innings. A year later, against New Zealand, he made his One-Day International (ODI) debut and scored an inspiring 75 from 76 balls. He went on to be a more successful limited-overs cricketer.
4. Wasim and Rameez
When Rameez made his Test debut, he played alongside his older brother Wasim who was a star and at the twilight of his career. Wasim and Rameez were then the second set of brothers to play Test cricket for Pakistan after the Mohammad brothers — Hanif, Mushtaq, Wazir and Sadiq.
5. ODI cricket
After an impressive ODI debut against New Zealand, Rameez continued to be consistent in this format. He managed seven 40-plus scores in his first year itself. He may have retired with an average of 32.09, but he became Pakistan’s hero in World Cups.
6. 1992 World Cup
Rameez played 57 Tests for Pakistan and ended with a disappointing average of 31.83. However, in World Cups, from 16 matches, he has scored 700 runs at an average of 53.84. In the 1987 World Cup, Pakistan’s campaign ended in the semis and in 1992, they won the trophy with Rameez being one of the heroes.
7. Surpassing Viv Richards’ effort
Rameez became the second batsman after Viv Richards to register three World Cup hundreds. While Richards took 19 matches and four World Cups to reach there, Rameez took two editions and brought up the feat in his 13th game.
8. Another World Cup feat
When Rameez caught Richard Illingworth off Imran Khan in the final over the World Cup 1992, it was all over and Pakistan had won the cup. He became the first cricketer to take a catch from the last ball of the tournament. Later, in 2003, Darren Lehmann from Australia became the second man to do the same.
9. Weird ways of getting out
In November 1987, he became the first batsman to be given out ‘Obstructing the field’ in ODIs. Against England, he was batting on 98 when he set off for a two. To avoid getting run out and complete his hundred, he stopped the ball with his bat and was given ‘out’.
10. MBA degree
Like his older brother Wasim, Rameez too is a highly-educated cricketer. He is an alumni of the prestigious Aitchison College in Lahore. He completed his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and has also worked for American Express.
In between 1992 and 1997, Rameez made sporadic appearances as Pakistan’s captain. He led the side in 22 ODIs, winning seven.
12. CEO of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)
In 2003, Rameez was appointed the CEO of PCB. He played a role in the resumption in India-Pakistan ties. He was at helm when India visited Pakistan for a full tour in 2004 after a long gap of 15 years. Due to increasing media commitments, he quit from the position in August 2004.
He is one of the most popular commentators in world cricket and is loved in both sides of the border. He is a regular face during the Indian Premier League (IPL) too.
14. Mr Popular
Like mentioned before, Rameez’s popularity transcends borders and even brands have successfully cashed-in on the same.
The original version of this post can be found here.