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Afridi hoping for spinner-friendly tracks in England

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi is hoping that curators in England will make pitches that suit the team's Test series against Australia this month.

world Updated: Jul 03, 2010 21:59 IST

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi is hoping that curators in England will make pitches that suit the team's Test series against Australia this month.

Due to security fears, Pakistan is hosting the series against Australia in England and Afridi is looking for spinner-friendly tracks for the two Tests at Lord’s and Leeds later this month.

"It’s supposed to be our home series, so naturally we believe that we can get pitches that suit us," Afridi told The News. "As the host team, you can exploit home advantage which at times can play a big role in the final outcome of the series,” he added.

However, Pakistan’s initial bid to get ‘suitable’ pitches prepared for the series was rejected a few days back.

According to the report, soon after Pakistan arrived in London late last month for a marathon tour of England, their coach Waqar Younis met with curators at Lord’s to discuss the nature of the wicket at the prestigious venue for Pakistan’s opening Test against Australia starting there from July 13.

Waqar, a former Pakistan Test pacer, wanted to discuss the possibility of making a track that could assist spinners and in the meantime, tried to make it sure that batting won’t be too difficult in the series-opening Test.

However, Waqar was in for an unpleasant surprise when he was told that nobody can ask the curators to prepare a certain type of track.

"They told Waqar that not even the England captain or the team management can tell the curator what sort of track they want for a particular match," a source said.

The Pakistanis will begin the series with back-to-back Twenty20 Internationals against the Aussies at Edgbaston July 5 and 6. The first Test will get underway July 13 at Lord’s followed by the second and last Test at Headingley (Leeds) from July 21. Pakistan is looking to attack the Aussies with his spinners in England.

Pakistan has three specialist spinners - Danish Kaneria, Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman - in their touring party. However, Abdur Rehman is just a part of Pakistan’s Twenty20 squad. In addition, Pakistan also has two additional spinners in Afridi and former captain Shoaib Malik. Both of them are all-rounders with creditable bowling records in international cricket.