'No target to make spin wickets in Pak'
An English cricket pitch expert said his visit to Pakistan isn't aimed at making spin wickets for next month's one-day and Test series against South Africa.india Updated: Sep 29, 2003 21:09 IST
An English cricket pitch expert said Monday his visit to Pakistan isn't aimed at making spin wickets for next month's one-day and test series against South Africa.
"There are no specific targets of making spin tracks to support the home team," Andy Atkinson, 48, who also worked in South Africa in 1993-2001, told The Associated Press.
The Pakistan Cricket Board came under severe criticism from speedster Shoaib Akhtar during the home series against Bangladesh for making dead tracks.
"The wicket is dead. There is absolutely nothing in it for the bowlers, and I took wickets just because of my sheer speed. I got no support from the track and had to put in extra effort under so much hot conditions," Akhtar said during the second test against Bangladesh in Peshawar last month.
"But the wickets in Pakistan are always like that and even Imran Khan used to complain about it. Something should be done to make sporting tracks," Akhtar had complaint.
The PCB approached Atkinson after Pakistan won the series against Bangladesh 3-0 so that more sporting tracks could be prepared for the home series against South Africa. But with Pakistan's spin bowlers generally more highly regarded that South Africa's, there were some suggestions that he might have been brought in to help the locals.
"I came to Pakistan two years ago. The soil (in Pakistan) has no problem. Maybe the problem is the way pitches are made here. The conditions here are similar to South Africa, the clay content is the same and the grass is of same quality," Atkinson said. The English curator said an ideal wicket does not support just one team.
"It should have bounce and pace initially, help the batsman and deteriorate to help spinners in the end," said Atkinson, who also plans to go to Bangladesh to supervise pitches for next year's Junior World Cup.
Atkinson didn't agree that all cricketing pitches should be of uniform standard.
"The atmospheric conditions are different in all the countries and making uniform pitches would be detrimental for world cricket," he said.
First Published: Sep 29, 2003 20:42 IST