HomeSportsCricketPCB chairman slams Rawalpindi pitch as 'embarrassing' as bowlers toil in Test

PCB chairman slams Rawalpindi pitch as ’embarrassing’ as bowlers toil in Test

The Rawalpindi pitch on which England racked up a world-record 506 runs on the primary day of the primary Test was “embarrassing”, in keeping with PCB chairman Ramiz Raja. Terming Pakistan as residing in “the dark ages of pitch preparation” owing to a decade-long hiatus of Test cricket within the nation, Ramiz stated it will take a minimum of one other season for the standard of pitches to start enhancing.

“It is embarrassing for us, especially when you have a cricketer as chairman,” Ramiz stated, chatting with media throughout the lunch break on the second day of the Test. “This is not a good advert for cricket. We’re a better cricketing nation than this.”

The high quality of Test match pitches has change into some extent of intense scrutiny, successfully for the reason that day Ramiz took over as chairman final 12 months when he promised to deliver drop-in pitches to Pakistan. While such speak has continued apace prior to now 15 months, tangible progress on the topic has been non-existent, with Ramiz decrying the prices of getting them shipped from overseas as prohibitive.

“Ultimately, the only situation is a drop-in pitch. Which is extremely expensive if we’re bringing it from abroad. Instead, we’re developing soil here for drop-in pitches. That way, we can prepare square turners or bouncy wickets depending on what we want.

“This isn’t a problem of not leaving grass on the pitch. The grass seems good from the standpoint of optics. We have to create bounce, which may occur with out grass, as occurs on Australian pitches. They do not go away plenty of grass on the pitch. We get completely different pitches in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

“We have the same pitches because we get the same kind of soil. We’ve tried to bring a curator from abroad; we needed to bring a curator from Australia for the Lahore Test, because the situation had got out of hand. When I want a spinning pitch, we don’t get that either, so it ends up being half and half. We don’t want that.”

While Ramiz implied there have been structural points undermining pitch preparation in Pakistan, there had been comparatively little controversy concerning the high quality of the surfaces for Test sequence till Australia’s go to to Rawalpindi in March. The pitch for that match produced 14 wickets in 5 days, and was awarded a poor ranking and docked a demerit level by the ICC.

Pindi was just lately considered Pakistan’s spiciest Test pitch, the one which supplied essentially the most help to the bowlers. When South Africa visited in January 2021, the Test in Rawalpindi was one thing of a basic, with all 4 innings producing scores between 200 and 300, resulting in an exciting climax on day 5.

Eighteen of South Africa’s 20 wickets fell to Pakistani tempo bowlers, a bonus that Ramiz acknowledged Pakistan wanted to capitalise on. Even the floor in Karachi on the time produced an absorbing contest, with Pakistan triumphing by seven wickets on the ultimate day.

Ramiz’s repeated speak of overhauling pitches in Pakistan has led to criticism that the PCB chairman is micromanaging their preparation. That hypothesis is not fully unwarranted, both, with Ramiz flying in Toby Lumsden, a former curator on the MCG, to assist with the Gaddafi Stadium floor forward of the third Test towards Australia.

Ramiz, nevertheless, insisted he didn’t intervene within the preparation of particular person Test match pitches. “The board doesn’t direct how pitches are made. I’ve left this to the thinktank. We look at our strengths and then the pitch and then make selections. I try and limit my involvement because otherwise I can’t hold people accountable. For accountability you have to cede control. I aim to create a pitch that ends up defining our tactics so a template is set.

“We dwell in the dead of night ages of pitches in Pakistan. They aren’t uncovered in T20 and 50 overs however they’re in Test cricket. We lived in an apartheid scenario the place groups did not come right here. Pakistan gamers had performed 70 Tests with out enjoying right here. It’s an achievement that we managed to remain afloat. We’ve tried every thing, bringing in a curator from overseas. Pitches are the lifeblood of cricket in a rustic, however having stated that, I’ve by no means seen batting like England’s on Day 1 both.”

Pakistan were untroubled in their own first innings, when England were finally dismissed for 657, if not quite as explosive. With little seam movement or variable bounce, Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq eased to an unbeaten 150-run stand. In the Rawalpindi Test against Australia in March, the same pair put on an undefeated 252 for the opening partnership on the fifth day.

Ramiz, however, warned there would be little immediate improvement to that situation. “This will enhance by subsequent season. Unfortunately we’ll see the identical sorts of pitches for the New Zealand sequence.”

Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000

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