Younis hits out at poor facilities for premier domestic event

January 4th, 2009 - 5:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Shoaib AkhtarKarachi, Jan 4 (IANS) Pakistan batsman Younis Khan is disappointed with the below-par arrangements being made by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy - the country’s premier first-class tournament.Younis, 31, said he was surprised at the lack of facilities provided to the players during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy that is under progress in various cities of the country.

The former Pakistan captain lamented the fact that most of the grounds hosting the Trophy matches had sub-standard wickets which he believes is a reason why the tournament hasn’t produced top quality cricket so far.

“The wickets we’ve played on so far during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy are of very low quality and slow,” he said.

“I mean they are poor wickets and most of the country’s leading batsmen have failed to score many runs on them. It’s hardly surprising because you don’t expect such poor pitches for a major event like the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy,” said Younis, who is one of the few leading cricketers to have answered the PCB call to play in the domestic tournament.

Several other top players including Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik and fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar have so far stayed away from the competition.

Younis said that the PCB should ensure that sporting wickets are produced for first-class tournaments.

“I didn’t score many runs neither did Salman Butt, Shahid Afridi or Nasir Jamshed in the previous games,” he said referring to his Pakistan team-mates.

“I don’t mind playing on hard, green-top wickets because such strips would help both the bowlers and the batsmen and will also help produce good matches,” said Younis, who has scored 4,816 runs from 58 Test matches at 49.14, besides piling up 5,278 runs from 178 one-day appearances.

Younis said that he was also unhappy with the other facilities offered during the event. “Most of the grounds have no facilities for net practice. In the dressing rooms, there are no water taps. It’s quite bad,” he said.

“Last season I was in Australia playing in their domestic matches and the facilities there were of the international standard. We should also offer similar facilities,” he added.

The PCB carried out an austerity drive after suffering massive losses in 2008 because of cancellation or postponement of important events at home due to security reasons. It has also decided to cut expenses on holding domestic events.

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