Pakistan may have won the first Test against West the Indies in Lahore inside four days but their captain Inzamam-ul-Haq is asking for six-day Tests in the country during the winter season.
Shorter days and fog makes it next to impossible for mandated 90 overs to complete in a day’s play in major Pakistani Test venues like Lahore, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad and Inzamam believes that to make Tests more result-oriented the International Cricket Council (ICC) should add another day to five-day matches.
“It is frustrating to see so much playing time is lost due to bad light in Test matches here,” Inzamam said. “It is difficult to attract crowds in these conditions when getting a result of a match can be very tough,” said the experienced batsman.
Almost sixty overs were lost during the Lahore Test against the West Indies that ended earlier this week in spite of efforts made by the officials to allow maximum possible daylight hours to the competing teams. The start of play was brought forward but even then just 70 odd overs were bowled in each of the four days because of murky conditions.
“Six-day Tests should be played in cities where the sun sets early and fog also creates problem,” said Inzamam who would lead Pakistan in the second Test in hometown Multan from November 19.
Situated in southern Punjab, expectations are that Multan would not be as bad as Lahore as far as weather conditions are concerned. Things would get even better for the teams when they travel to Karachi for the final Test starting from November 27 as the port city has longer daylight hours during the winter season than any other Test venue in Pakistan.
The idea of having six-day Tests in Pakistan is not a new one as former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan made a similar call last year following back-to-back home series against England and India when the mandated 90 overs were impossible for 20 successive days.
At that time Shaharyar had said that the PCB would ask the ICC to allow six-day Tests in Pakistan but such a demand was never made in black and white.
The PCB, in the meantime, also experimented by introducing orange balls, said to have better visibility, during domestic matches. The results, however, were inconclusive.
The Board had also announced plans to uplift existing Test venues in the southern parts of the country so that more matches could be played there during the winter season. Initial steps were taken to improve facilities in Hyderabad but nothing concrete was achieved. Similarly, the Board also revealed long-term plans to build a top class stadium in the port city of Gwadar to make it an alternate Test venue but the project remains a pipe dream.
Source:The NewsMore on:Inzamam, Pakistan, West Indies in Pakistan 2006
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