Thursday, March 10, 2022

Ramiz Raja issues statement after backlash over dead Rawalpindi pitch

PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja. Photo: Twitter
PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja. Photo: Twitter

  • Ramiz Raja reviews Pakistan's performance in Rawalpindi Test.
  • Says he suggested that pitches need to be massively redone when he took charge as PCB chairman.
  • "There is a lot of cricket to come," Ramiz boosts viewers' fervour.

KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja was "forced" to issue a statement of "hope" after immense criticism about pitch behaviour during the first Test of the historic Australia series.

The pitch prepared for the first Test was largely criticised for being too benign and dead as all five days remained dull, while the cricket fans showed frustration with the tame draw as on the surface only 14 wickets fell during the five days.

"There is a lot of cricket to come," Ramiz boosted the viewers' fervour, promising that the home series will be fascinating in the coming days.

"I totally understand a draw cannot be a good advertisement for Test cricket. In five days results should have come and in these days 90% of Test matches get results," he said.

However, he said there were two to three things that he wanted to put up with. 

'Pitches need to be redone'

"The first thing is when I took charge as the PCB chief, my statement made headlines on pitches when I said that pitches need to be massively redone.

"When I came in September, the cricket season was in progress and it took almost five to six months to prepare one pitch. Off-season you will see [the difference] as we are bringing soil from Australia. 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 closes in March-April," Ramiz said.

However, the PCB chief pointed out that being hosts they should play according to their strength.

"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," he emphasised.

"Unfortunately we had limited resources in fast bowling as Hasan Ali and Faheem got unfit. There was a brand new opening pair. Abdullah Shafique had played two or three matches and it was thought that he would be able to click against a strong Australian attack. Similarly, Imam-ul-Haq was staging a comeback too. Therefore when your bowling and opening pair is disturbed and raw so you get chances according to that."

He explained that Australia is a world powerhouse so "we give them respect and so quickly we could not go in experimental mode considering our strength."

'Performance in Rawalpindi instilled confidence in Pakistan'

Ramiz further stated said the performance in Rawalpindi, though, has instilled a lot of confidence in the Pakistan team.

"Still I know that the performance has instilled a lot of confidence in Pakistan. Batting, especially, showed that and in bowling too 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 prepare our strategy carefully", Ramiz said, adding that the ball should reverse and their spinners could perform and in the same way their batting could get advantage to play on low-bouncy tracks.

He asked fans to witness the series with the belief that it will get interesting.

"Look, it's our huge achievement that Australia have come here and I hope this series will be very interesting. Don't jump the gun, there is a lot of cricket to come," he signed off.