Ramiz reacts to criticism about Rawalpindi pitch

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By our correspondent
KARACHI: The Rawalpindi pitch which had been prepared for the first Test between Pakistan and Australia invited a huge criticism for being too much benign and dead. The fans have also shown a lot of frustration with the tame draw as on the surface only 14 wickets fell inside five days.
And this immense criticism forced the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja to issue a statement and hoped that the series in coming days would be more interesting.
“A draw cannot be a good advertising of Test cricket and I totally understand. In five days result should come and these days 90 percent result often comes,” Ramiz said. “But there are two to three things which I want to put in your mind. The first thing is when I came as the PCB chief so my statement made headlines on pitches when I said that pitches need to be redone and these are to be massively redone,” he said. “When I came in September season was in progress and it takes almost five to six months to prepare one pitch. When season will be off, you will see as we are bringing soil from Australia and here we are also experimenting and have prepared some soil through soil experts and we will redo 50 to 60 pitches throughout Pakistan. We will do this when our season will close in March-April,” Ramiz said.
Ramiz said being hosts they should play according to their strength.
“I realise the fans frustration and if the previous test turned out to be result-oriented it would have been good. But look, it is a three-match Test series so there is a lot of cricket left and we don’t want to play in the lap of Australia by making a fast and bouncy pitch. It is necessary when we play at home we should play according to our strength,” Ramiz said.
“Unfortunately we had limited resources as our opening ball pair disturbed as Hasan Ali and Faheem got unfit. Similarly, there was a brand new opening pair. Abdullah Shafique had played two or three matches and his form was a bit worrisome as it was thought whether he would be able to click against strong Australian attack. Similarly, Imam-ul-Haq was coming back. So when your bowling and opening pair is disturbed and raw so you get chances according to that. Then you did not have leg-spinner as Yasir Shah is unfit and so we fielded with under source 15 and don’t forget Australia is a world powerhouse, having come after winning Ashes. We give them respect and so quickly we could not go in experimental mode considering our strength,” Ramiz explained.
He said the performance in Rawalpindi has instilled a lot of confidence in Pakistan team.
“But still I know that the performance has instilled a lot of confidence in Pakistan. Batting, especially, shone and in bowling a spinner took six wickets. These are bright points. But fans should understand that we will try our level best to have a result-oriented series but it is not easy to prepare pitches overnight,” he said. “We are to beat Australia and are to prepare strategy carefully. When it is done so that there should be low bounce and where ball should reverse and so that our spinners could perform and in the same way our batting could get advantage to play on low-bouncy tracks,” the PCB chief said.
He asked fans to witness the series with the belief that it will get interesting.
“You should witness the series with great courage. Look, its our huge achievement that Australia have come here and I hope this series will onward will be very interesting. Don’t jump the gun, there is a lot of cricket to come,” he signed off.