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Only proactive approach can save Test cricket

Many a bowler complained about the playing surface at Gadaffi Stadium. Did anyone spare a thought for the hapless curator? writes Bishan Singh Bedi.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 14:55 IST

One down the drain, literally. Two more to go at Faisalabad and Karachi. At Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium we heard many a bowler complaining about the playing surface. Did anyone spare a thought for the hapless curator?

Firstly, the tour itinerary was so framed as to give one man -- Agha Zahid -- nightmares galore. The distance between Lahore and Faisalabad is very little. So the weather conditions at this time of the year cannot be expected to be any different.

While Agha Zahid is brave to take all the responsibilities, not many of his ilk in the PCB are endowed morally to accept the faux pas.

Already, Woolmer has fired his first salvo at Imran. The coach is perhaps not aware of the Pathan's clout in Pakistan. In his heydays Imran was known to get things done instead of waiting for them to happen.

Clearly, Woolmer's first finger is a shade misdirected. Even if one is to acknowledge the coach's reluctance to interfere in pitch preparation, he has been with the Pakistanis long enough to know the subtle tricks of the trade, one of them being keep a close watch on the details of the 22-yard strip.

If Woolmer has slipped somewhere, his wards would be quick to remind him to get into the thick of things. Certain preprations take place behind the scene to have due impact on the scene.

After the Gaddafi Stadium, Faisalabad's Iqbal Stadium could well be another bore. Textile hub of Pakistan, the town did not have a five-star hotel when we played there in 1978-79. We were made to stay in a circuit house -- 10 in one room with just two toilets. Only our manager, late Maharaja of Baroda, was given a single room, while I shared a room with local liaison officer Shafqat Rana.