KARACHI, May 4 Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) chief curator Agha Zahid is set to face the music with the PCB top brass feeling let down by the pitches prepared for the recent ODI series against Australia in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The growing belief in the board is that the efforts made and the money spent by the PCB to prepare pitches in the UAE to suit the Pakistan team went down the drain after Australia won the ODI series 3-2 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The pitches for the first four matches have also come in for sharp criticism from former players and commentators and questions are being raised over the logic of sending Agha Zahid and head grounds man Mohammad Bashir to Dubai and Abu Dhabi to prepare the pitches.
Sources in the board said that PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt and other officials were unhappy with the way the pitches had played and the curators and groundsmen would be questioned about it after the series. “What purpose was served by spending so much money and even sending the special Nandipur soil from Pakistan? Clearly this job should have been given to more professional people,” said a PCB official.
Incidentally, the board had also sent coach Intikhab Alam and assistant coach Aaqib Javed prior to the series to oversee the preparation of the pitches but the move didn't prove advantageous for the home side.
The first four matches were low-scoring games on which batsmen found it difficult to play their strokes and the spinners got exaggerated turn from the surface.
Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott and ex-Australia batsman Dean Jones also felt that the pitches were not suitable for one-day matches. Boycott pointed out that the pitches actually went in favour of Australia.—Agencies