Miandad criticises 'sub-standard' pitches in Champions Trophy

The pitches prepared for Champions Trophy in South Africa by the ICC curators have come in for sharp criticism from Javed Miandad.

updated: September 29, 2009 17:38 IST
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The pitches prepared for Champions Trophy in South Africa by the International Cricket Council curators have come in for sharp criticism from former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad.

Miandad, director general cricket in the Pakistan board, said he was totally surprised as to the quality of the pitches prepared by the curators for such a big tournament.

"It is surprising because the ICC has always been very particular about standard pitches being provided in its member countries," he said.

The former captain said the pitches provided in the eight-nation tournament at the Wanderers in Johannesburg and SuperSport Park at Centurion didn't come up to international standards.

"When you play on such pitches in a big tournament it is not going to help the future of one-day internationals. People want to see fast paced cricket and lots of runs and excitement and that is lacking generally in this tournament because of the inconsistent nature of pitches.

"Even the length of boundaries is varying at the two grounds. They should have more venues for the tournament. To many matches at one venue is adding to the problems," he said.

Miandad said some of the pitches had been so scary that the balls were kicking up from a good length, the bounce was not consistent and the pace was so slow off the surface that the batsmen didn't have the confidence to play their shots.

"The toss has become a vital factor in this Champions Trophy because of the pitches. Whichever team wins the toss is also sure to win the match," Miandad noted.

He said the ICC needed to review its policy of preparing pitches for tournaments it organises.

"To survive against the fast paced and exciting Twenty20 cricket, the ICC also needs to provide quality and consistent pitches for one-day internationals. If the pitches are not good then all other facilities become meaningless."

Another former Pakistan Test captain, Rashid Latif agreed and hoped the curators would provide better quality pitches for the knockout stage of the tournament.

"People want to see big scores, good batting and bowling and this is only possible if the pitch is true and players are not worried about the bounce or pace," he said.

Latif said the Champions Trophy was a litmus test for survival of one-day internationals and good pitches should have been prepared.

Former Test paceman Sarfraz Nawaz echoed a similar view.

"ICC should have prepared better pitches in such a big event. People want to see runs being scored. Even Australia faced a defeat at the hands of second string West Indies only because of the pitch," he said.