JAIPUR: While Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq has blamed the flat pitch in Dubai for his team’s loss against Sri Lanka in the second Test on Sunday, there are chances that a similar sort of track will greet them for the third Test which commences in Sharjah on Thursday.
This is Pakistan’s home series but none of the groundsmen here in the UAE have received any prior instructions, either from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) or skipper Misbah, to prepare certain kind of wickets for the Sri Lanka Tests.
Mohammad Zameel, the groundsman in Sharjah, speaking exclusively over the telephone, said: “There was grass on the pitch at Dubai and it was not all that flat, but the Pakistani bowlers could not take advantage of it. We cannot have grass in Sharjah because of the existence of salty water below the ground but we are trying to prepare a pitch that can assist both bowlers and batsmen.
“A good pitch is the one that lasts full five days and in both Tests at Abu Dhabi and Dubai the pitches behaved well even on the fifth days. So how can you call them bad pitches?” asked Zameel.
The Pakistan-born Zameel has been preparing tracks at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium since the days the CBFS used to host international matches there.
Interestingly, the PCB for some reason has stopped the practice of sending its own curators to oversee the pitches preparation for their ‘home series’ in the UAE.
In the past, the PCB curators used to regularly visit Abu Dhabi and Dubai before and during the series but it has not been happening for the last four years. Perhaps the UAE authorities want their own men to prepare the pitches there.