‘Batsmen and not pitches responsible for Pakistan’s series defeat’

May 6th, 2009 - 5:35 pm ICT by IANS  

By Omar Khalid
Karachi, May 6 (IANS) The Pakistan team management has rejected claims that the national team lost its five-match one-day series against Australia in United Arab Emirates (UAE) because of poor pitches and has instead blamed lack of international cricket for the defeat.

Sources in the PCB told IANS Wednesday that the team management in its initial report has said that their players suffered a 2-3 loss in the series because of a lack of international cricket, adding that the team’s batsmen failed to live up to expectations.

Pakistan won the one-day series opener in Dubai, April 22 but then went on to lose the next three games against an under-strength Australia that was led by Michael Clarke in the absence of regular captain Ricky Ponting, who was rested for the UAE assignment. Pakistan later won the last match but lost the series 2-3.

Critics have questioned the quality of the pitches that were made for the one-day series by Pakistan’s chief curator Agha Zahid. The PCB had even sent chief coach Intikhab Alam and his assistant Aaqib Javed to oversee the preparation of the pitches for the series against Australia.

Zahid, a former Pakistan Test cricketer, also faced strong criticism after he prepared a flat wicket for the first Test against Sri Lanka at Karachi in February. The match ended in a boring draw.

However, the team management’s report is expected to once again bail out Zahid. Sources said that Zahid has told the PCB top brass that he made the pitches on the instructions of Intikhab and Aaquib, who were in UAE with him for several days ahead of the one-day series.

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