Pak vs Aus 2021-22 – Ramiz Raja

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The PCB chairman, however, more or less confirmed that the pitch had been prepared to nullify Australia’s fast-bowling strength

Ramiz Raja, the PCB chairman, has conceded that the drawn Rawalpindi Test was not a good advertisement for Test cricket. He reiterated the claim he made when he first took over the post that Pakistan needed a complete overhaul of its pitches, but said the process could only begin after the end of the 2021-22 season.

“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. “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.”

While saying this, however, Ramiz more or less confirmed the suspicion that the Rawalpindi pitch – on which only 14 wickets fell over five days – had been prepared to nullify Australia’s fast-bowling strength as well as cover for Pakistan’s weakened resources, with fast bowlers Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf, the opener Abid Ali, and the legspinner Yasir Shah all out injured.

“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. 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. 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.

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