Cricket: Cricket-Pakistan board chief defends preparing lifeless pitch to thwart Australia


MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Pakistan’s cricket boss has hit again at criticism of the lifeless Rawalpindi pitch that produced a uninteresting draw within the first take a look at in opposition to Australia, saying it was obligatory to nullify the vacationers’ assault whereas defending the under-strength hosts.

Only 14 wickets fell within the series-opener, sparking condemnation from followers and media.

Pakistan board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja mentioned in a video posted on the PCB’s social media {that a} draw was “by no means a superb commercial for take a look at cricket” however the hosts have been centered on successful the three-match collection.

“I perceive the frustration of the followers – undoubtedly it could have been excellent if we had a outcome, however it is a three-test collection, and we want to perceive that a whole lot of cricket nonetheless stays to be performed,” he mentioned.

“Just for the heck of it, we won’t put together a quick pitch or a bouncy pitch and put the sport in Australia’s lap.”

While Pakistan have been hit by a slew of accidents within the leadup to the match, Raja mentioned the board was additionally aware of defending their “model new” opening batting mixture of Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq.

Ul-Haq scored back-to-back centuries within the take a look at, whereas Shafique made 44 and 136.

“So when your opening batting pair and bowling pair are each disturbed and uncooked, you possibly can’t take probabilities,” he mentioned.

“Australia, do not forget, are a world powerhouse, and have been coming right here after successful the Ashes.

“We respect their expertise. So we could not go into experimental mode so early, preserving our strengths in thoughts.”

The second take a look at begins Saturday in Karachi, historically a extra spin-friendly wicket than Rawalpindi.

Raja mentioned Pakistan would proceed to put together low-bouncing pitches that match their spinners and batsmen for the remainder of the collection and urged followers to preserve their “morale excessive”.

“Only one match is finished, so do not leap the gun, there’s a whole lot of cricket to be performed,” he mentioned.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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