Pak request for turning track in Lord’s turned down: Sources
Karachi: It might be the ‘home’ Test series for Pakistan in which they take on Australia on English soil, but the curators at the Lord’s ground have refused to provide them a turning track for the opening match commencing from July 13, sources said.
According to sources, the curators have flatly refused to entertain any special request from the touring Pakistan team management in the preparation of the pitch for the first Test.
“Pakistan coach Waqar Younis wanted a pitch that would support the spinners and also be conducive for batting but the curators at the Lord’s have flatly refused to entertain his request,” said a source in the Pakistan team in England.
The sources said Waqar had talked to the curators soon after the national team arrived in England.
“Waqar Younis met with curators at Lord’s to discuss the nature of the wicket at the prestigious venue for Pakistan’s opening Test against Australia and discussed the possibility of making a track that could assist spinners and in the meantime tried to make it sure that batting won’t be too difficult in the match,” the source said.
“They told Waqar that not even the England captain or the team management can tell the curators what sort of track they want for a particular match,” he added.
Sources also said that Pakistan believed since it was their ‘home’ series, they had the right to choose tracks that suited their team.
Pakistan were forced to play their home series against Australia in England after the Aussies refused to visit the terror-hit country due to security concerns.
After suspected militants attacked the touring Sri Lankan team bus last year in which five Pakistani policemen and a driver were killed and five Sri Lankan players were wounded, teams have refused to play in Pakistan while the ICC has also moved away the 2011 World Cup matches from the country on security grounds.
Pakistan has already played the one-day part of its ‘home’ series against Australia last year in the United Arab Emirates while they now play two T20 internationals and two Tests in England.
The T20 matches are scheduled on July 5 and 6 at Edgbaston, while the second Test will be held at Headingley (Leeds) from July 21.
Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has said that he hoped the team management can give some input into the preparation of pitches for the series against Australia.
“It’s our home series, so naturally we believe that we can get pitches that suit us,” he told ‘The News’.
“As the host team, you can exploit home advantage which at times can play a big role in the final outcome of the series,” he added.