Rameez Raja, President of PCB, describes Pakistani presentations from ‘dark ages’, feels presentations can solve problem

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Pakistan’s cricket official said Friday that Pakistani pitches go back to the “dark ages”, after England plundered runs on a lifeless little stand in Rawalpindi.

In their first Test in Pakistan for 17 years, England made a massive 657 in their first innings at a fast pace of 6.5 or more with four of their top five batsmen – Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett and Olly Pope – smashing centuries.

In response, Pakistan’s openers were hitting centuries of their own at the end of the match on Friday with Abdullah Shafiq 89 and Imam-ul-Haq 90.

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Ramez Raja, ex-captain and now Pakistan cricket The chairman said he was “not at all happy” with the state of the pitch, which he admitted was “not a great advertisement” for Test cricket.

He told reporters, “We live in the dark ages of stadiums in Pakistan. It’s embarrassing for us, especially if you have a cricketer as president.”

On the same field in March this year, some 1187 runs were scored for the loss of just 14 wickets as Pakistan and Australia played a simple draw.

Rawalpindi was described as “below average” by the International Cricket Council match referee Ranjan Madugale, who also awarded him a penalty point.

A place is banned for 12 months if it accumulates five negative points over a five-year period.

Pakistan played little Test cricket at home for more than a decade as security issues forced matches to be played at neutral venues abroad.

After the criticism leveled earlier this year, Raja brought in Australian specialist Damien Hogg, who suggested removing the pitches as a solution.

“I think our way out is separate courts,” Raja said.

“If you want to overwhelm England, for example, we have to put together a fast pitch that turns off number one ball.

“It’s better than having hodgepodge where you get a half-baked topping that’s not quick and doesn’t spin.”

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The Pindi Cricket Stadium was criticized during the tour of Australia in March when ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle rated wickets as below average after only 14 wickets had fallen in five days.

Raja impressed with England’s aggressive intentions, which saw the team beat New Zealand and South Africa at home this summer under McCollum’s fearless approach.

“We are witnessing a new paradigm in Test cricket, which takes the match to the opponent,” Raja said. “There was solid planning and solid thought behind the whole exercise. It’s not like the button has been turned where you suddenly produce four horns and get 500 degrees in a day.

We want Pakistan to change course. Let’s see if we can do it or not, but it will take some time for the sub-continent’s teams to get that kind of mentality.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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