PCB defends staging first SL Test in Pindi

Updated 14 Dec 2019

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PAKISTAN cricketers Abid Ali (R) and paceman Naseem Shah (C) take selfies with fans while their team-mate Babar Azam gives autographs to young students before the start of third day’s play at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.—AP
PAKISTAN cricketers Abid Ali (R) and paceman Naseem Shah (C) take selfies with fans while their team-mate Babar Azam gives autographs to young students before the start of third day’s play at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.—AP

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Cricket Board, in a press release issued here on Friday, tried to defend the scheduling of the historic first Test against Sri Lanka in Pindi after nearly two thirds of the Test match has got washed out or cancelled due to bad light so far, thus depriving thousands of fans who had thronged stadium on all three days to witness some exciting Test cricket.

The PCB explained that according to the original FTP schedule, Sri Lanka should have been here for the white-ball cricket, while they would have completed their red-ball assignment in September/October. However, the matches were swapped to give the SLC a little taste and flavor that Pakistan was safe to play cricket.

The PCB’s strategy worked as Sri Lanka are now here for the WTC Tests. The release further said that this time of the year, only Karachi and Rawalpindi could stage Tests as Lahore is not available due to smog and rains and Multan and Peshawar are in the upgradation process.

“If Karachi had staged the first Test, it would have been impossible to allow any cricket in Rawalpindi due to extreme weather conditions from mid-December onwards. The first Test against Sri Lanka couldn’t start before Dec 11 as the Pakistan cricket team only returned from Australia on Dec 6.

Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2019