Ever since Ramiz Raja took over as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, he has always batted on the front foot whether people liked it or not. His fiery press conferences and directness in dealing with every situation made sure he remained in the headlines more often than not. But Ramiz Raja may have just gone overboard after the Asia Cup final between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Dubai on Sunday. His behaviour towards an Indian journalist asking what can be described as a routine question was totally unexpected and uncalled for.
Ramiz Raja was leaving the Dubai International Stadium after Pakistan's 23-run loss to Sri Lanka when a few journalists and fans circled him to get his reaction on the match. Among them was an Indian journalist who asked him if he had any message for Pakistan's people who must be disheartened after the defeat in the final. Ramiz was visibly miffed with the question and started countering the journalist for using the word 'awam' (common people). The journalist tried his best to make the PCB chief understand that it was a generic question with no intention to take a jibe towards the Pakistan fans but Ramiz paid no heed to it and in the end, grabbed the journalist's phone to stop the recording.
The journalist took to Twitter to share the video of the entire incident and it went viral instantly.
Here's a transcription of the entire conversation between Ramiz Raja and the Indian journalist:
Journalist: "Awam badi nakhush hai. Unke lie koi sandesh? (The people must be unhappy. Any message for them?)
Ramiz Raja: "Dekhie aap India se honge, aapke (awam) toh bohut khush honge." (You must be from India, your people must be very happy).
Journalist: "Hum khush nahi hai. (No, we are not happy)."
Ramiz Raja: "Kaunsi awam? (Which people?)"
Journalist: "Maine dekha hai Pakistan k logo ko rote hue jate. Kya main ghalat bol raha hu Ramiz bhai? (I've seen Pakistani fans go back crying after the loss. Am I saying something wrong?")
Ramiz Raja: "Aap awam ko generalise kar rahe hai. (You are generalising 'the people')
After this, Ramiz Raja was seen trying to snatch the journalist's phone. That was not the end of the drama. Ramiz was also seen warning a fan who had kept his arms over his shoulder and had gotten too close for comfort. "Please ye hath hataiye. Aur aap camera se thoda side ho jaye (Please keep your hands off me and stay away from the camera)," he said.
Watch: Ramiz Raja misbehaves with Indian journalist for asking question on Pakistan people after defeat in Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 23 runs in what can be described as fairly one-sided final to lift the Asia Cup trophy for the sixth time.
Fast bowler Pramod Madushan (4-34) and Wanindu Hasaranga (3-27) shared seven wickets between them to bowl out Pakistan for 147 while chasing 171 in Dubai.
Earlier the left-handed Rajapaksa put on a key 58-run stand for the sixth wicket with Hasaranga, who hit 36, to help Sri Lanka to 170-6 after being in trouble at 58-5.
Sri Lanka, who had to abandon plans to host the competition due to political unrest, bounced back from an embarrassing opening defeat by Afghanistan to win the tournament, a curtain-raiser for next month's T20 World Cup in Australia.