Thursday August 11, 2022

England T20Is to be played on bouncy tracks: Ramiz

June 30, 2022
PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja speaks to media in Karachi. Picture courtesy PCB
PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja speaks to media in Karachi. Picture courtesy PCB

KARACHI: England’s tour to Pakistan for seven T20I later this summer will be the start of preparations of the Green-shirts for the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia later this year.

Keeping in view the hard and bouncy tracks in Australia, it is highly expected that bouncy tracks will be prepared for the home series against England to test the boys and prepare well for the global event.

And the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja is interested in managing such tracks for the series. “In T20 cricket mostly batting-friendly tracks are prepared but like you I am also interested as they will play for the first time on these squares. I hope there will be true bounce so that it could mirror Australian conditions somehow,” Ramiz told a news conference here on Wednesday while answering the question of this correspondent.

“Our strength is fast bowling and if you have not that quality of spin so you will somehow focus on that. There is a need for a lot of work on spinners also. There are two or three very good spinners in the pipeline. My interest is also the same how this square will behave as we have worked a lot on it,” Ramiz said.

“We have prepared two pitches at the National High-Performance Centre, Lahore, by mixing the soil. When that is done then our domestic cricket will also get a life. We needed to do work on pitches and we have re-laid them during the recent gap,” he added.

“It’s just the beginning,” he said. “We need to do a lot of work on infrastructure. There is a need for improvement in fan engagement; seats need to be installed at the National Stadium. We also need to install seats at the Pindi Stadium.

"There are great issues and we have worked on them. You cannot play with spikes in club cricket so we are trying to assist the club cricket through artificial grass netting. My main focus has been on pitches and the team’s performance,” the PCB chairman said.

“Today we signed an MoU with Engro relating to 100-best. We are going to announce Rs30,000 each stipend for these kids. From July 15 or 16 this process will begin and Beaconhouse will help us provide free education to these kids,” he said.

“On pension, I got an overwhelming response through our ex-cricketers,” he said.

“You have to create back-up cricket facilities which is the main purpose of announcing the Pakistan Junior League (PJL). The PSL achieved more success this season and as per our audited accounts each franchise generated Rs81 crore and it means that this market has thrown Rs5 billion (500 crores) for this product. After we beat India in the World Cup interest from investors increased,” he said.

“We have given 250 jobs to ex-cricketers and increased their pension. In three months, the cricket foundation will stand and through this cricket stakeholders will be benefited. Companies want to contribute and we will form a separate Board of Governors for it. It’s a step towards the well being of our stakeholders,” Ramiz said.

He said that next season PSL will be spread across the country. “I will mention Multan here as in such a hot weather huge crowds witnessed the matches and on the final day around 15,000 fans were outside the stadium.

"The big issue is of lease. We have no lease of Faisalabad venue as well as of Multan. If you have lease you can act promptly to develop anything,” the chairman said.