Zimbabwean all-rounder Sikandar Raza expressed sadness over not qualifying for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and slammed the International Cricket Council in support of Associate countries over 10-team World Cup. Speaking at the post-match presentation of the CWC finals, where Raza was handed Player of the Series award, the 31-year-old stated he was not happy receiving the award and maintained it was a grim reminder that he could not represent his country at the next years World Cup. He also apologized to his fans for ending their World Cup hopes.
“Certainly not happy at all. This trophy is a painful reminder of the dreams that we had, of the 15 million dreams we crushed. When I started playing cricket, I thought it was to unite the country, players of different backgrounds, everyone who comes together to play this beautiful sport. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. It’s a tough pill to swallow,” Raza said.
I’ve never heard a player from a Full Member nation stand up for the Associate cause and rail against the 10-team World Cup in 2019 with such fierce emotion as Sikandar Raza did just now, that too with David Richardson standing 20 feet away. Must watch speech. Bravo @SRazaB24. pic.twitter.com/mxmiZA46JF
— Peter Della Penna (@PeterDellaPenna) 25 March 2018
Pointing out the other teams who could not make it to the World Cup, Raza maintained that all of them had the capability to perform during next years event. “This trophy will also serve as a reminder for Peter Borren and the Dutch players, for Coetzer and his Scottish players, for Mustafa and his UAE players, and all the countries who couldn’t make it to the World Cup,” he said.
— Sikandar Raza (@SRazaB24) 25 March 2018
Raza was also quick to wish Nepal for securing ODI status. “Congrats to Nepal on the ODI status. This trophy will also serve as a painful reminder for the two of our brother countries who lost their ODI status. I wish them luck. Not much to say; going through a lot of emotions,” he concluded by saying.