Pakistan: PCB chairman unhappy with Rawalpindi pitch after bore-draw

PCB Pakistan

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja has conceded that the drawn Rawalpindi Test against Australia was not a good advertisement for Test cricket.

Raja reiterated his desire to overhaul Pakistan’s pitches as international cricket returns to their shores.

The chairman said he was committed to completing that project in the domestic off-season.

Pakistan boss unhappy with pitch

“A drawn match is never a good advertisement for Test cricket, and I totally understand that we need to get a result in five days these days, and we get it 90% [of the time], but I want to remind you of 2-3 things,” Ramiz said in a video posted on PCB’s official Twitter feed as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo.

“First of all, a number of headlines were in relation to the comments I made when I took over [as chairman] that pitches in Pakistan need to be redone, massively redone, but I took over in September and the season had already begun.

“It takes 5-6 months to prepare pitches, and during the off-season, you will see – soil is coming from Australia; we’ve experimented, consulted soil experts and prepared soils, and we will redo 50-60 pitches all over Pakistan once our season ends in March-April.”

Wary of being too gracious as hosts

Raja believes that it was better that the surface was flat rather than something that would give the Australia pace attack too much to work with.

“I understand the frustration of the fans – undoubtedly it would have been very good if we had a result, but this is a three-Test series, and we need to understand that a lot of cricket still remains to be played,” Raja said.

“Just for the heck of it, we can’t prepare a fast pitch or a bouncy pitch and put the game in Australia’s lap.

“It’s important that when we play at home, we play to our strengths.

“We also had limited resources, unfortunately.

“Our opening-ball pair was disturbed because Hasan Ali and Faheem were both unfit.

Pakistan doing the best they can

“Similarly we had a brand-new opening pair – Abdullah Shafique had only played 2-3 matches, and we were keeping a worrisome eye on his form, and whether he could handle such a good bowling attack or not. Imam-ul-Haq was also making a comeback.

“So when your opening batting pair and bowling pair are both disturbed and raw, you can’t take chances. Our legspinner wasn’t ready, Yasir Shah was unfit, so we got on the field with an under-resourced 15, and Australia, don’t forget, are a global powerhouse, and were coming here after winning the Ashes. We respect their talent. So we couldn’t go into experimental mode so early, keeping our strengths in mind.

“I understand that we have gained a lot of confidence from this performance. The batting has sparkled, and on the bowling front, a spinner [Nauman Ali] has taken six wickets. So these are bright points.”

For the second Test of the series the action moves to the National Stadium in Karachi.