Just like everyone else, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Mr Ramiz Raja, is not satisfied with the nature of the Rawalpindi pitch. The track has barely been offering assistance to the bowlers as batters entirely took charge of the condition.
With four centuries coming up from England’s side, alongside a fiery knock from Ben Stokes, the gusts were able to amass 657 from 101 overs comfortably. While Pakistani bowlers barely managed four wickets on Day 1 on 506, they picked up the rest of the wickets on Day, restricting England to 657.
On the highly batting-friendly pitches, the Pakistani batters are looking to gain momentum. Keeping wickets in their hands, they are currently 181/0 with the courtesies of Abdullah Shafiq’s 158-ball 89 and Imam ul Haq’s 148-ball 90.
Seeking minor assistance from bowlers, the experts have criticized the work done by pitch curators on the track, and the PCB chairman, either, is surprised to see what is going on. Slamming the pitch as embarrassing, Ramiz added,
“It is embarrassing for us, especially when you have a cricketer as chairman. This is not a good advert for cricket. We’re a better cricketing nation than this.”
Ramiz thinks the only solution to come out of such pitches is to hire a foreign curator and build drop-in pitches.
“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 is not an issue of not leaving grass on the pitch. The grass looks good from the point of view of optics. We need to create bounce, which can happen without grass, as happens on Australian pitches. They don’t leave lots of grass on the pitch. We get 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 creator 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.”