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This is apropos a Business Recorder editorial “First-ever whitewash on home ground” carried by the newspaper on Sunday. The newspaper has concluded its argument by saying, among other things, that “before the upcoming visit of New Zealanders, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi and all others concerned need to sit down and figure out the reasons why the team made such a poor showing and devise a winning strategy. An obvious place to start is the insipid pitches in all our stadiums.”

Before I make my final point I wish to point out that by lunch break yesterday, visiting New Zealanders had left the Pakistan team struggling on 115-4 in first Test being played at Karachi’s National Stadium. Spinners Michael Bracewell and Ajaz Patel had grabbed three out of four wickets between them. The foregoing brings to the fore our traditional reliance on slower pitches.

My question is why we don’t we have to produce pitches that offer good, consistent bounce. Unlike our eastern neighbour India that is globally known for making slower pitches mainly because of the fact that there is woeful dearth of genuine fast bowlers in a nation of 1.3 billion people, we’ve always produced world-class fast bowlers.

Unfortunately, however, we’ve followed in the footsteps of India, undermining and killing the potential of fast bowlers in our squads. Such approach to cricket must change without any further loss of time, given the fact that making slow pitches has also resulted in our humiliation in contests with foreign teams.

Sami Mustafa (Karachi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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