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Pak seeks Kiwi help for sporting tracks

"The Turf Institute of New Zealand has been requested to send an expert after the conclusion of the current series," said PCB director Abbas Zaidi.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 18:15 IST

After coming in for scathing criticism for producing pitches that have heavily favoured batsmen in the ongoing India-Pakistan cricket series, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has sought help from New Zealand to address the issue.

"The Turf Institute of New Zealand has been requested to send an expert after the conclusion of the current series," PCB director (board operations) Abbas Zaidi was Friday quoted as saying by Pakistani daily, The Nation.

Zaidi added that in order to improve soil conditions at various venues, the PCB would hold an international experts workshop to chalk out measures to improve the sub-soil so that pitches would able to produce the required bounce for a proper contest between bat and ball.

The first India-Pakistan Test at Lahore produced 1,089 runs for just eight wickets while the second Test at Faisalabad saw 1,702 runs scored for the loss of 28 wickets.

The PCB sought to distance itself from the controversy in a statement saying that the weather was to blame for the preparation of pitches.

"The PCB would like to clarify that its management, captain and coach had unanimously agreed to commission 'hard bouncy pitches' for the India series," the PCB said.

"For the England series, similar instructions had been given and indeed (except for Faisalabad) the wickets were reasonably fast and bouncy giving marginal assistance to our fast bowlers and leg-spinners.

"The England series pitches were result-oriented and produced enthralling Test cricket. Regrettably, due to weather conditions - rain, frost and absence of sunshine - the pitches turned out 'low and slow' tilting the balance totally in favour of batsmen, producing dull cricket and disappointing results."

The PCB further said that it hoped that in the third and deciding Test in Karachi that begins Sunday, good sunshine would help produce a track that would make for interesting cricket, while defending the curators who worked on the pitches.

"It is hoped that Karachi, which has abundant sunshine will produce a pitch that will be result-oriented and will strike a fair balance between bat and ball," it said.

"No blame can be attached to curators for not producing sporting result-oriented pitches that had been commissioned by the management and on which they had admirably delivered for the England series.

"Nor do the facts indicate a defensive mind-set by the Pakistan team and management," it said.

--Indo-Asian News Service


First Published: Jan 27, 2006 18:15 IST