Younis urges ICC to ensure uniformity in Test pitches
Saying the Indian pitches in the recently-concluded series against South Africa was not good advertisement for Test cricket, former Pakistan captain Younis Khan on Tuesday urged the ICC to ensure uniformity of tracks in the longest format across the world.
India won the four-match Test series 3-0 and handed the No.1 Test side its first overseas loss in nine years but the rubber was dominated by anti pitch-talk with two matches finishing in under-three days.
“I don’t think it was good advertisement for Test cricket in the recent India and South Africa series that the ball was turning from the first day onwards. The element of competition disappears on such pitches,” Younis said.
Younis also noted that people talking about facing different conditions and pitches with lot of bounce and movement when they play in England, Australia or South Africa were talking about the past.
“The pitches nowadays in these countries also are not the same as they were a decade or two ago. Look at Australia you don’t see the same pace or bounce similarly in England not all pitches now have lot of seam movement.”
The veteran batsman, who recently retired from ODIs after playing 265 matches for his country also opined that Twenty20 cricket is stealing the thunder from the longer format.
“T20 cricket has been a big step forward for cricket but unfortunately it has been allowed unsupervised growth and that has had negative effects on the players many of whom now just think that just play T20 leagues and earn well,” Younis said.
Younis said way back in 2009 when he captained Pakistan to the World T20 in England he had warned that the ICC and member boards needed to prevent unbridled growth of T20 cricket.
“Nowadays there are T20 leagues being played everywhere but the quality and big money is there only in IPL or perhaps the Big Bash. With so many leagues round the year, players are only focusing on this format and it is not good for Test or ODI cricket.”
“There has been a decline in the growth of quality players because of this scenario.”
The 38-year old Younis, who is Pakistan’s top Test run-maker and has also scored the most centuries in 104 appearances, made it clear that he had not signed the contract with PCB to be considered for the draft of players in the Pakistan Super League. He though wants transparency in the league.
“If the PSL is held properly in a transparent and clean manner than it would benefit our domestic players a lot. I want to see that happen. But transparency in everything is required so that our league doesn’t face same problems we have seen in other countries,” Younis said.