Rameez Hasan Raja is a former Pakistani cricketer who played for the national team. Raja was a right-handed batsman and occasional leg-break bowler who was born on August 14, 1962.
In 1978, Rameez made his first-class cricket debut. Despite a poor start to his domestic career, he scored 579 runs at 44.53 per innings in 1982-83 and 1249 runs at 40.43 per innings the following season, leaving an impression on the selectors.
On March 2, 1984, Rameez Raja made his international debut in a test match. Despite his team’s three-wicket victory over England, he only scored one run in each innings and had a forgettable performance.
However, due to the retirement of key members of the national squad and his first-class cricket background, Raja was able to secure a place in the senior squad. He did not, however, contribute significantly to the test line.
About a year later, he was called up for an ODI against New Zealand, in which he scored 75(84) but lost.
Rise to Glory
Raja was a sophisticated batsman. With his fluid stroke-play, he wowed the audience. The flick to square leg quickly became a trademark move. Raja became a central figure in the ODI setup and was influential in the World Cups of 1987 and 1992.
He slammed back-to-back hundreds in the 1988 tri-series in Australia, enhancing his prestige. The opener is credited with catching the World Cup-winning catch in 1992.
In the tournament, he also scored 200 points. His 102 against the West Indies was unsuccessful, but an elegant 119 against New Zealand helped Pakistan win.
The first player to be sent off for obstructing the field was Raja. England scored 263 runs for 6 wickets in a 44-over innings in Karachi in 1987. Pakistan needed 25 runs from the final over, and Rameez Raja was on 98. He struck the ball and ran for two runs, but when he kicked the ball away with his bat, he was just outside the crease.
Despite being a regular in the ODI team, the trendy opener struggled to make an impression in the test arena. He scored just 31.83 in 57 Tests, with centuries against Sri Lanka and India.
At the age of 35, Raja retired from international cricket. He was the skipper in his last match, which was against India. Despite his team’s 10-wicket win, he was dismissed for a golden duck.
Raja went on to become the CEO of the Pakistan Cricket Board after retiring, and he was instrumental in strengthening the cricketing relationship between India and Pakistan. His contributions resulted in the 2004 series.
Currently, he gives commentary for all Pakistani international matches.