"Slowest Pitch Ever": Pakistan Team Director Fumes Over Practice Wicket In Australia
The fourday practice match, which ended in a draw, was played at the Manuka Oval in Canberra from December 6-9
- NDTV Sports Desk
- Updated: December 11, 2023 05:15 PM IST
Pakistan's Director of Cricket Mohammad Hafeez was a frustrated figure while sharing his views on the pitch used for the team's four-day practice match against Australia's Prime Minister XI last week. The match, which ended in a draw, was played at the Manuka Oval in Canberra from December 6-9, ahead of the three-match series between Australia and Pakistan, starting December 14. Hafeez criticised the pitch and conditions laid out for Pakistan's warm-up game in Canberra, saying that it was the "slowest pitch a visiting team could ever play on" Down Under.
"That was the slowest pitch a visiting team could ever play on in Australia. As a team we are really happy with our preparations because we ticked most of the boxes," Hafeez was quoted as saying ESPNcricinfo during Pakistan's training session at the WACA Stadium in Perth.
Hafeez said while they weren't expecting the conditions on offer in Canberra, the Pakistan team is ready for the upcoming challenge.
"The disappointment was really high because we weren't expecting these kinds of arrangements. Maybe it's tactical but we're ready for it. We're not using it as an excuse, we're absolutely ready for the challenges coming up," he added.
On being asked to share his views on Pakistan's newly-appointed Test captain, Shan Masood, Hafeez said that the southpaw has all the qualities to become a leader.
"For me, seeing Shan become captain is no surprise. He was always ready for this role, and when you get this sort of opportunity, it shines. He's a superb player, and as a leader, he's got a great rapport with the players and a great relationship with the whole team. His experience as a captain and what he's learned over the years - especially the couple of years he's played county cricket - have all seen his management skills have come to the fore even more. What's important is this is a confident unit that's here and Shan is playing his role very well," Hafeez explained.
Notably, Shan scored an unbeaten 201 in the first innings of the practice match, while rest of his teammates failed to even cross the 50-run mark.
The first Test will be played at the Optus Stadium in Perth.
Pakistan squad: Shan Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi