Chief curator Zahid provides positive update about pitches in Pakistan

PCB faced a lot of criticism for preparing substandard pitches during the Test series against Australia, England and New Zealand

May 05, 2023
Babar Azam inspects a pitch in Rawalpindi — PCB

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board's chief curator Agha Zahid believes that the condition of the pitches at all three stadiums in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi during the ongoing series against New Zealand was equally-balanced, whereas, the Test matches wickets will also see an improvement in the future.

It is pertinent to mention that PCB faced a lot of criticism for preparing substandard pitches during the Test series against Australia, England and New Zealand. PCB chairman Najam Sethi took notice of the issue by establishing a committee for monitoring and reviewing the pitches of all the centres after taking charge.

“The evidence of that was seen during this year’s Pakistan Super League (PSL) and the recently-concluded T20Is, as well as the ongoing ODI series as no complaints have been reported as pitches, are helping both the bowlers and the batters," said Zahid. 

It is generally believed that the standard of wickets in Pakistan went down following the retirement of several seasoned curators. Some critics blamed inexperienced curators for preparing sub-standard tracks. However, Agha Zahid doesn't agree.

He believes lack of experienced curators was just one factor stressing that differences in soil and weather in different cities, as well as the overall difference in strategies of the contesting teams, also played a role.

It must be noted that Pakistan registered their first one-day international series win over New Zealand in 12 years with a hard-fought 26-run victory in the third match in Karachi on Wednesday.

Imam-ul-Haq scored a 107-ball 90 while Babar Azam made a 62-ball 54 for his 26th ODI half-century to guide Pakistan to 287-6 in their 50 overs.

Opener Tom Blundell hit 65 for New Zealand while debutant Cole McConchie struck an undefeated 45-ball 64 but the visitors were bowled out for 261 in 49.1 overs.

Pakistan, who won the first two matches by five and seven wickets respectively in Rawalpindi, took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

The last two matches are on Friday and Sunday, also in Karachi.

Pakistan´s last ODI series win over New Zealand was in 2011 and since then they had lost six of the seven series, with one drawn.

Syed Intikhab Ali is a reporter for The News