Andy Pycroft of Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees, gave Rawalpindi’s pitch, which hosted the opening Test match of three-game series between England and Pakistan last week, a “below normal” rating. One demerit was also given to the venue under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process. PCB chief Ramiz Raja was interviewed on Saturday by reporters about the ICC decision in Rawalpindi. He fumed at them and asked for a break from the “narrative”.

“It was a very smooth pitch that provided little assistance to any type or bowler. It was this pitch that allowed batters to score quickly and helped both teams post huge scores. Pycroft said that the pitch was in good condition throughout the match. “Because the pitch was very good for the bowlers, the pitch I considered to be “below-average” per the ICC guidelines.

Ramiz arrived in Karachi for the first Test between England and Pakistan on Saturday. A reporter asked Ramiz about Rawalpindi’s pitch rating. Ramiz snapped at him.

“Yaar pitches dekho, Pakistan ke dono Test matches mai result aaya hai. Iss narrative se bahar niklo. Yeh hume negative headlines deti hai. Humari cricket ek brand ban chuki hai, agar hum uska khayal nehi rakhenge aur negativity phelane kiliye 10000 aur chezein hai…yeh pani theek nehi hai uar kursiyan theek nehi hai. Har ekpe kaam hai, and thodi patience. (Both matches produced results. This is a false narrative. This can lead to negative headlines. The brand of cricket is now ours and we must embrace it. You can spread negativity by doing 10000 other things. We are still working on it, and we ask that you have patience. ),” he stated.

Rawalpindi got a second demerit after hosting the match between Australia & Pakistan earlier in March.

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