Thatscricket - News - Pakistan seeks English help on pitches

Published: Friday, February 16, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi: Pakistan has sought help from an English curator following strong criticism over local pitches, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said on Friday."We have contacted English curator Andy Atkinson who will be coming to Pakistan in the first week of April to ascertain pitch conditions," Ramiz Raja, a PCB advisory council member, said."This should not be linked to our series loss to England," he added.Pakistan has a tradition of preparing tracks to suit its sides but failed to produce anything suitable for its spin attack during the England tour late last year, which the visitors won 1-0.Former England opener Geoff Boycott has also been recruited for a brief but controversial coaching stint here.Atkinson prepared pitches for the International Cricket Council (ICC) knockout event in Kenya last year and is presently busy in Sri Lanka. "Atkinson will assess all Test centers in Pakistan during his 10-day visit," Raja said.Pakistan's chief curator of pitches is Haji Bashir, who many see as a gardener with no expertise in the art of making good cricket tracks."We should know on what type of pitches we want to play against varied oppositions," Raja said.Australian captain Steve Waugh recently objected to pitch tampering in the sub-continent ahead of his team's tour of India, starting this month. "It just concerns me if someone is influencing the type of wickets they are producing, because that is not in the game of cricket. You are not supposed to be doing that," he said, citing ICC regulations.But Raja said conditions in Pakistan varied more dramatically than in Australia and it was difficult to produce consistent pitches in Pakistan."Australians can't change the nature of their wickets but they tamper by playing weak oppositions on fast tracks. That's why they play Pakistan less on the fast track at Perth," he claimed.Copyright AFP 2000

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