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Ramiz Raja apologises for tweet as ECB chief quits after Pakistan tour snub

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja has apologised for an ‘erroneous’ tweet about the departure of ECB Chairman Ian Watmore.

Watmore has resigned after serving just over a year of a five-year term, with the 63-year-old’s position coming under pressure as a result of the decision to cancel England ‘s tour of Pakistan.

Raja publicly criticised Watmore over the decision, saying: “I spoke with Ian, chairman of ECB, and said, ‘what is the guarantee of England coming back and playing here in 2022?

“Because a month before that tour you can easily quote tiredness, players being spooked again, sick of living in a bubble or a threat perception that will probably be not shared with us.

“He clearly had no answer for that. I don’t know how the board is structured in England. He appeared as if the decision was out of his hands, that there were other influences who really made the call on his behalf.”

After Watmore’s departure from the ECB, Raja simply tweeted: “Breaking: ECB chief has resigned.”

The tweet was later deleted, with Raja posting a follow-up message which read: “The earlier tweet was erroneously put on my Twitter account. Apologies.”

“It is with regret that I step down as Chair of the ECB, but I do so in mindfulness of my own wellbeing and that of the game which I love,” he said.

“I was appointed to the post in a pre-pandemic era, but Covid has meant the role and its demands on time are dramatically different to all our original expectations, which has taken a personal toll on me.

“Given this, the Board and I feel the ECB will be better served by a new Chair to take it forward post pandemic.

“Leaving now, at the end of the season, gives the Board time to find a new Chair to support cricket through the challenges of the 2022 season and beyond.

“On a personal level, I also retired last month after five years at the Civil Service Commission and recently became a grandfather. I would now like to retire completely from work and enjoy our great game as a spectator.”

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