Pakistan news March 28, 2013

Hafeez wants improvements in domestic pitches, support staff

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Following the poor results in South Africa, Pakistan Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez has called for improvements in country's domestic circuit, which will help produce complete players who can cope with any conditions anywhere in the world. He was speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing Faysal Bank Super Eight Twenty20, after scoring a blistering hundred for Lahore Lions.

Pakistan's domestic structure has seen several changes recently, with revamps almost every two years over the past decade. However the quality of pitches prepared for the domestic matches remains debatable. Hafeez pointed that aspect out, while defending the selections made for the South Africa tour.

"It's not like we aren't picking the right players, those [the one's picked for the national team] are the same players who are performing well on domestic circuit. But there are various areas we need to improve on in the domestic structure including the pitches, making them more competitive. Players who are in contention for national selection should play more domestic cricket.

"There has always been a sense of competition at the domestic level, various youngsters are trying to rise to play for the country and it's the duty of the think tank to give the right players chances. We have every sort of player in our domestic cricket, playing in every format of the game, but at the same time raw players are emerging. There is also a dire need to concentrate on the supporting staff working on the domestic circuit, so that player are groomed properly right from the start and national coach shouldn't have to start from scratch."

Pakistan's batting fragility was key to their poor returns in South Africa, with Hafeez himself looking uncomfortable playing on tracks that offered seam and bounce. He, batting as an opener, managed to score only 43 runs in the Tests and 118 in the ODIs, and was dismissed by Dale Styen on six occasions.

Hafeez said the experience gained from facing South Africa's bowlers in hostile conditions, though, will be visible in the side's performance in upcoming matches. "If you look around the world, successful teams have their winning percentage is around 60 to 65 playing in their home conditions and we aren't even playing in our home conditions for the last four years but still managed to get good results," he said. "Obviously, the way we lost the Test series in South Africa was very disappointing for us, but we came back strongly in the T20 match and the one-day series and finished on a positive note. Having played such tough cricket it will benefit us for future assignments."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SlingshotPace on April 1, 2013, 0:20 GMT

    @Tughral Baig - I've represented my country on junior tours and my region at senior level, please don't get me started on whether I "know anything about cricket". No one is saying to debut youngsters in RSA but you have to debut them somewhere and sometime while developing them. If you knew anything about cricket and more so about Pakistani cricket, then you'd know the exact stats to which I'm referring to when it comes to Latif, Alam, Azam and Ali - none of which have been given a real chance and all of which deserve to play. At the current state, the only player in the line up who averages over 40 in ODI's is Misbah Ul Haq and keep in mind, he has scored no centuries either. Younis (who was recentlly and rightfully sacked) only averages 31 in ODI's. Hafeez averages 27. Kamran 26. Farhat 32. Shoaib Malik 33. PATHETIC. Overhaul required. Take your sympathy and softness back to where you came from. Pakistan has a name to live up to. Don't get started with me boy.

  • on March 31, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    Hafeez is right. Pakistan needs to make some bounce tracks which seam and swing in the school, club, league and domestic circuit as well so that when players play abroad they will perform there too and Afridi should be sent as opener in bounce tracks and Razzaq should be definitely in the team abroad as his ball swings and seams abroad too with new ball and is a clean hitter in later stages as well

  • sami01 on March 30, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    then how will he score runs???he is below average player on good pitches..

  • atharsherwani on March 30, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    Professor of Miscalculation has plenty of advice to offer but does not perform on the wicket and keeps on making the same mistakes over and over again i.e. playing across the line with the ball heading for the middle stump. No it's time to introduce new blood. Enough is enough.

  • on March 30, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    @"Pakistancricketisscrewed" please do not be so dramatic.and please please stop with this "we aren't playing the youngsters ..where is anwar ali hammad azam nd khalid sumthng" speech. Selection was totally right for the tour, these kids might be nice but they still have a long way to go before representing Pak in tests.For the record you dont experiment with youngsters on a tour like SA,UK or Aus because the conditions there are difficult,look what happened to Jamshed and he has played a lot of international cricket now..We had our best side for the tour and they were outclassed by a much superior team.There were times when we could have taken a lead in the series (in the 2nd test) but the young guys showed inexperience and were too afraid to take the initiative.My advice is not to make too many changes and try to groom the same team for the next tour abroad as these guys have the skill they just need the experience.@kingsland do you even know anything about cricket?

  • Happy_AusBang on March 29, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    The comments about improving the pitches is spot on. Bouncy pitches will be good for PAK bowlers and give their batsmen some experience before they face other teams in SA, AUS, NZ and ENG.

    One thing I must say: it is time that Afridi is permanently removed from the ODI team. Now that he scored 80+ after umpteen scores below 20, we can be absolutely sure the next 10- to 15 scores are going to be below 20. I don't think we need further proof that he lacks the temperament to play any longer than three overs.

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    he wants improvement in pitches so he should also ask his self for improvement of his game. its been ten years that he is playing international cricket but nothing has improved in him. and preparing bouncy or green pitches will not solve the problem. India with a batting line of sehwag, tendulkar, dravid, laxman and ganguly suffered overseas, similarly Australia with batting line up of hyden, langer, ponting, martin, clarke, hussey and gilcrist has suffered in the sub continent, England with cook, straus, trot, KP, bell and prior have also suffered in sub continent. the issue is to raise the quality of your game. in past with more worst domestic structure and pitches Pakistan has produced greats and won every where it was just because players individually worked hard on their technique and game so Mr so called professor improve your game and you will find everything ok.

  • half_blood-prince on March 29, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    Why everyone creates so much hype for the losses..it was coming.no one expected pak to win a single game in overseas..their past record tell all the things.

  • getsetgopk on March 29, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    I actually saw this day coming the moment Afridi was sidelined over a petty issue of altracation with the coach and Hafeez was promoted. I knew long ago that Hafeez has no technique and its his bowling that masks his failures most of the times. Can't remember of any innings of substance against a major test side barring that 88 or something against Eng in UAE, he's been failing with the bat ever since, match after match.

    However, what he's saying about the pitches is spot on. We need to look beyond the slow and dull pitches of sub continent, we have had enough success on such wickets. If we could provide bouncy wickets at domestic level would actually help both our batters and bowlers. Given that we have a lethal bowling attack, both spin and fast couple that with batsmen having played on fast pitches would make Pakistan one of the toughest team to beat on any surface. Sounds like a big excuse when Hafeez calls for pacy wickets but fortunately it is true.

  • on March 29, 2013, 2:21 GMT

    We here in the Caribbean has been asking for the same for quite sometime now . Nice to see Hafeez is drawing it to the attention of the board. looking forward to improvement world wide .

  • SlingshotPace on April 1, 2013, 0:20 GMT

    @Tughral Baig - I've represented my country on junior tours and my region at senior level, please don't get me started on whether I "know anything about cricket". No one is saying to debut youngsters in RSA but you have to debut them somewhere and sometime while developing them. If you knew anything about cricket and more so about Pakistani cricket, then you'd know the exact stats to which I'm referring to when it comes to Latif, Alam, Azam and Ali - none of which have been given a real chance and all of which deserve to play. At the current state, the only player in the line up who averages over 40 in ODI's is Misbah Ul Haq and keep in mind, he has scored no centuries either. Younis (who was recentlly and rightfully sacked) only averages 31 in ODI's. Hafeez averages 27. Kamran 26. Farhat 32. Shoaib Malik 33. PATHETIC. Overhaul required. Take your sympathy and softness back to where you came from. Pakistan has a name to live up to. Don't get started with me boy.

  • on March 31, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    Hafeez is right. Pakistan needs to make some bounce tracks which seam and swing in the school, club, league and domestic circuit as well so that when players play abroad they will perform there too and Afridi should be sent as opener in bounce tracks and Razzaq should be definitely in the team abroad as his ball swings and seams abroad too with new ball and is a clean hitter in later stages as well

  • sami01 on March 30, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    then how will he score runs???he is below average player on good pitches..

  • atharsherwani on March 30, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    Professor of Miscalculation has plenty of advice to offer but does not perform on the wicket and keeps on making the same mistakes over and over again i.e. playing across the line with the ball heading for the middle stump. No it's time to introduce new blood. Enough is enough.

  • on March 30, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    @"Pakistancricketisscrewed" please do not be so dramatic.and please please stop with this "we aren't playing the youngsters ..where is anwar ali hammad azam nd khalid sumthng" speech. Selection was totally right for the tour, these kids might be nice but they still have a long way to go before representing Pak in tests.For the record you dont experiment with youngsters on a tour like SA,UK or Aus because the conditions there are difficult,look what happened to Jamshed and he has played a lot of international cricket now..We had our best side for the tour and they were outclassed by a much superior team.There were times when we could have taken a lead in the series (in the 2nd test) but the young guys showed inexperience and were too afraid to take the initiative.My advice is not to make too many changes and try to groom the same team for the next tour abroad as these guys have the skill they just need the experience.@kingsland do you even know anything about cricket?

  • Happy_AusBang on March 29, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    The comments about improving the pitches is spot on. Bouncy pitches will be good for PAK bowlers and give their batsmen some experience before they face other teams in SA, AUS, NZ and ENG.

    One thing I must say: it is time that Afridi is permanently removed from the ODI team. Now that he scored 80+ after umpteen scores below 20, we can be absolutely sure the next 10- to 15 scores are going to be below 20. I don't think we need further proof that he lacks the temperament to play any longer than three overs.

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    he wants improvement in pitches so he should also ask his self for improvement of his game. its been ten years that he is playing international cricket but nothing has improved in him. and preparing bouncy or green pitches will not solve the problem. India with a batting line of sehwag, tendulkar, dravid, laxman and ganguly suffered overseas, similarly Australia with batting line up of hyden, langer, ponting, martin, clarke, hussey and gilcrist has suffered in the sub continent, England with cook, straus, trot, KP, bell and prior have also suffered in sub continent. the issue is to raise the quality of your game. in past with more worst domestic structure and pitches Pakistan has produced greats and won every where it was just because players individually worked hard on their technique and game so Mr so called professor improve your game and you will find everything ok.

  • half_blood-prince on March 29, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    Why everyone creates so much hype for the losses..it was coming.no one expected pak to win a single game in overseas..their past record tell all the things.

  • getsetgopk on March 29, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    I actually saw this day coming the moment Afridi was sidelined over a petty issue of altracation with the coach and Hafeez was promoted. I knew long ago that Hafeez has no technique and its his bowling that masks his failures most of the times. Can't remember of any innings of substance against a major test side barring that 88 or something against Eng in UAE, he's been failing with the bat ever since, match after match.

    However, what he's saying about the pitches is spot on. We need to look beyond the slow and dull pitches of sub continent, we have had enough success on such wickets. If we could provide bouncy wickets at domestic level would actually help both our batters and bowlers. Given that we have a lethal bowling attack, both spin and fast couple that with batsmen having played on fast pitches would make Pakistan one of the toughest team to beat on any surface. Sounds like a big excuse when Hafeez calls for pacy wickets but fortunately it is true.

  • on March 29, 2013, 2:21 GMT

    We here in the Caribbean has been asking for the same for quite sometime now . Nice to see Hafeez is drawing it to the attention of the board. looking forward to improvement world wide .

  • Crick_Expert on March 29, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    SA tour 2013 was a huge lession for cricket think tank. PCB should say bye forever to TTTgroup (tuktuk tola) Misbah, Younis, Asad Safiq. Please add Fast playiers in ODI, and boom boom AFIRDI as CAPT. PAK really need young talented players, who are much better than TTTgroup. PCB selectors should shame to select TTT even though they deserve to play associated teams. Please don't add them again for UK tour, otheriwise another huge defeat waiting for us.

  • on March 28, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    i think our team is in dire need of clean hitter Razzaq...he has wrested the victory from rival team on many occasions.Moreover,we need genuine opener like Ahmad Shahzad.

  • AK47_pk on March 28, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    When we are going to have proper openers in pak team rather then this so called alrounder? Ahmed shazad or even sami aslam but not this guy. Hes just talking rubbish. He wont last an over on bowler friendly wickets in domestic. Let the change come in pcb nd we, ll see how you play in team nd create rifts. This pakistan team is our team nd we hate to see players like mr hafeez representing us!

  • SlingshotPace on March 28, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    "It's not like we aren't picking the right players"...?? Hafeez, you must be kidding. Fawad Alam averages over 40 in both ODI's and Test matches and is ALL ROUNDER yet somehow can't find a spot in a team in which YOUR PATHETIC self opens the innings with an average of 27! And when he did have a spot, he'd miss a chance to bowl in every game and found himself opening the innings against Sri Lanka - he's a middle order bat and still performed!! He was set up for failure by you and your kin and still prevailed....Khaled Latif averages over 50 in the domestic circuit yet he is nowhere to be seen. Anwar Ali, is an all rounder who almost single handedly won the U 19 World Cup Final in 07 against India. Where is he? Where is Hammad Azam? Picking the right players are we? How about you start by selecting openers who average over 27 before complaining you p_ick!! The country hates what this team has become. It doesn't represent Pakistan in the least and neither do you. Rebuild the entire PCB

  • reason-galore on March 28, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    ofcourse you want better pitches...even you might be surprised after scoring a few runs... there must be something wrong with the pitches... ask pcb to demote you to a #7 batsman who is more of an allrounder than a batsman... that way you won't be a burden on the team...

  • ameen786 on March 28, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    1.Hafeez should stop playing test matches because he is not good enough for test cricket lack of temperament and technique. 2.Give young players chance no matter we loose in beginning i am sure in 1 year time they will be driving force around the crickiting world. 3.Domestic structure should be change completely. 4.Remember Smith was giving captaincy after 2003 world cup with all young players see now the team is really good we should follow this classic example. 5.Please get Aamir sohail as selector and get in Wasim akram as our Bowling Coach than guys see pakistan team will be unbeatable. 6.But not the least Please bring back Home cricket in pakistan.

  • on March 28, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    Completely agree with Hassan that Razzaq should be given a chance.

  • on March 28, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    it is also team selection and some sort of internal problems. in this Lahore team many international players play well under hafeez captaincy. Historically 2 captains didnt not succeed in pakistan. Younas-Afridi, afridi-salman, afridi misbah and now reports of misbah-hafeez.

    Plus they selected all tested and failed players. yes they do need bouncy wickets at domestic circuit but how many of top domestic performers were in the SA tour?

    For champions trophy, they need to replace younas & malik with umar/asad/umar amin/haris.

    Afridi has no place in the tournment where wickets do not support spinners much. So a batting medium pace allrounder should place there. or a batsman instead.

    Keeper , i dont know why pak couldnt find any good batting keeper from domestic? so far whoever was tested is not good batsman.

    Hafeez should bat down the order specially in fast tracks.

  • Akhter786 on March 28, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    though i love Afridi but most of times these days i wonder what if Abdul Razzaq was given so many chances!!

    They say 'What is popular is not necessarily Right and what is right is not always popular" so true when it comes to Afridi and Razzaq selection. but unfortunatley for Razzaq and Pakistan and more importantly for die hard fans who are always left loathing and ruing and gasping for air, Razzaq is failed by Selectors as well as Captains.

  • zedyesiam on March 28, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    When will we (Pakistan fans) learn that the answer isn't Razzaq! He's lost all his pace, and now bowls at around 73ph (rather like Afridi!). Coupled with the fact that he is a hit and miss batsman (rather like Afridi - and with a similar average). And finally, do not forget that he is a terrible fielder, obscenely slow since the age of 26 - unforgivable when the cricket world has adapted and fielding often makes the difference between teams. He is massively over-rated by typical Pakistani fans who think someones a hero when they hit 6's and 4's.

  • oayaz01 on March 28, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    Hafeez - Even if you play for another 2 years on seamer friendly tracks, you won't survive even a single over from Steyn and Vern so better just play domestic cricket on placid tracks and leave international duty to more deserving players in the country.

  • on March 28, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    true Abdul Razzaq is being sidelined due to internal politics

  • Hassan_U on March 28, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    Hafeez....you had no clue against Styn. And your overall avg is not great either. You are in team to score runs rather then hide behind your bowling. Its time to get a new opener who deserves his place. Given the chance also given to Afridi....for me Abdul Razzaq is far better then Afridi. But politics have kept a true allrounder out for far too long. Like in T20 world cup he was kept out only thorugh injury he was called into team and he did deliver. Same way he always does. BRING BACK ABDUL RAZZAQ PLZ

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  • Hassan_U on March 28, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    Hafeez....you had no clue against Styn. And your overall avg is not great either. You are in team to score runs rather then hide behind your bowling. Its time to get a new opener who deserves his place. Given the chance also given to Afridi....for me Abdul Razzaq is far better then Afridi. But politics have kept a true allrounder out for far too long. Like in T20 world cup he was kept out only thorugh injury he was called into team and he did deliver. Same way he always does. BRING BACK ABDUL RAZZAQ PLZ

  • on March 28, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    true Abdul Razzaq is being sidelined due to internal politics

  • oayaz01 on March 28, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    Hafeez - Even if you play for another 2 years on seamer friendly tracks, you won't survive even a single over from Steyn and Vern so better just play domestic cricket on placid tracks and leave international duty to more deserving players in the country.

  • zedyesiam on March 28, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    When will we (Pakistan fans) learn that the answer isn't Razzaq! He's lost all his pace, and now bowls at around 73ph (rather like Afridi!). Coupled with the fact that he is a hit and miss batsman (rather like Afridi - and with a similar average). And finally, do not forget that he is a terrible fielder, obscenely slow since the age of 26 - unforgivable when the cricket world has adapted and fielding often makes the difference between teams. He is massively over-rated by typical Pakistani fans who think someones a hero when they hit 6's and 4's.

  • Akhter786 on March 28, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    though i love Afridi but most of times these days i wonder what if Abdul Razzaq was given so many chances!!

    They say 'What is popular is not necessarily Right and what is right is not always popular" so true when it comes to Afridi and Razzaq selection. but unfortunatley for Razzaq and Pakistan and more importantly for die hard fans who are always left loathing and ruing and gasping for air, Razzaq is failed by Selectors as well as Captains.

  • on March 28, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    it is also team selection and some sort of internal problems. in this Lahore team many international players play well under hafeez captaincy. Historically 2 captains didnt not succeed in pakistan. Younas-Afridi, afridi-salman, afridi misbah and now reports of misbah-hafeez.

    Plus they selected all tested and failed players. yes they do need bouncy wickets at domestic circuit but how many of top domestic performers were in the SA tour?

    For champions trophy, they need to replace younas & malik with umar/asad/umar amin/haris.

    Afridi has no place in the tournment where wickets do not support spinners much. So a batting medium pace allrounder should place there. or a batsman instead.

    Keeper , i dont know why pak couldnt find any good batting keeper from domestic? so far whoever was tested is not good batsman.

    Hafeez should bat down the order specially in fast tracks.

  • on March 28, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    Completely agree with Hassan that Razzaq should be given a chance.

  • ameen786 on March 28, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    1.Hafeez should stop playing test matches because he is not good enough for test cricket lack of temperament and technique. 2.Give young players chance no matter we loose in beginning i am sure in 1 year time they will be driving force around the crickiting world. 3.Domestic structure should be change completely. 4.Remember Smith was giving captaincy after 2003 world cup with all young players see now the team is really good we should follow this classic example. 5.Please get Aamir sohail as selector and get in Wasim akram as our Bowling Coach than guys see pakistan team will be unbeatable. 6.But not the least Please bring back Home cricket in pakistan.

  • reason-galore on March 28, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    ofcourse you want better pitches...even you might be surprised after scoring a few runs... there must be something wrong with the pitches... ask pcb to demote you to a #7 batsman who is more of an allrounder than a batsman... that way you won't be a burden on the team...

  • SlingshotPace on March 28, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    "It's not like we aren't picking the right players"...?? Hafeez, you must be kidding. Fawad Alam averages over 40 in both ODI's and Test matches and is ALL ROUNDER yet somehow can't find a spot in a team in which YOUR PATHETIC self opens the innings with an average of 27! And when he did have a spot, he'd miss a chance to bowl in every game and found himself opening the innings against Sri Lanka - he's a middle order bat and still performed!! He was set up for failure by you and your kin and still prevailed....Khaled Latif averages over 50 in the domestic circuit yet he is nowhere to be seen. Anwar Ali, is an all rounder who almost single handedly won the U 19 World Cup Final in 07 against India. Where is he? Where is Hammad Azam? Picking the right players are we? How about you start by selecting openers who average over 27 before complaining you p_ick!! The country hates what this team has become. It doesn't represent Pakistan in the least and neither do you. Rebuild the entire PCB