Pakistan news January 14, 2013

Hafeez wants Pakistan to play more Tests


Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan's Test vice captain, has urged the PCB to schedule more Test matches for the national team because he believes it is the format that helps produce quality cricketers. In the last five years, Pakistan have played 35 Tests, more than only Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. England, in comparison, played 63.

"It's unfortunate that we get less Test matches," Hafeez said in Karachi. "We played three Tests in January [2012] and then three in June, and again after six months we will play in South Africa, which is hard on us. I would urge the board to take up this issue and try to schedule more Test matches for us because I believe players only develop by playing Test matches.

"Test cricket produces good quality cricketers, like we have found Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq. We need to promote Test cricket but if we play only six Tests in a year then it will be tough. I think PCB needs to fight for more Tests in the next fixture because you get quality cricketers from Test cricket."

According to the ICC's FTP, Pakistan are scheduled to play 88 Tests between 2012 and 2020. They will play ten Tests in 2013 and then face a five to six-month break before hosting Australia for three Tests in October 2014. Pakistan have had to play their home Tests at off-shore venues such as England and the UAE after the Sri Lankan team was attacked by terrorists in Lahore in March 2009.

Pakistan's last Test series was in Sri Lanka in June and July and they head to South Africa later this month for a three-match contest, which begins on February 1. Their previous tour to South Africa was in 2007, and of this current squad only Hafeez, Younis Khan and Faisal Iqbal were in that tour party.

"A Test series in South Africa will be challenging because the conditions are different. We played there in 2007 but this time we are carrying an entirely new combination," Hafeez said. "We are going there ten days in advance and have a side match before the Test so it will give us some good preparation. They have a good combination of batting and bowling but we too are going there after winning our series in India, which has lifted our morale a lot."

Pakistan selectors on Friday named two rookie fast bowlers - Mohammad Irfan and Ehsan Adil - for the South Africa tour, along with Junaid Khan and Umar Gul. "It's a decision of the selection committee," said Hafeez, accepting his "side is short of another fast bowler" but he was confident this attack, which includes spinners Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman, would fare well in South Africa.

"We have an emerging bowler in Junaid Khan and then Umar Gul is very experienced," Hafeez said. "Mohammad Irfan is also progressing well."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Amjad on January 17, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    Narbavi: Ok since you are not going to answer it i'll just consider you conceed that this 0-8 distinction is Indias and Indias alone.

    Moving on to the record against Australia. Pak's W/L ratio against Auss on away venues is 0.2. W/L ratio on home venues is 2.33

    Indias W/L ratio against Auss on away venues is 0.19 and Indias W/L ratio on home venues is 1.25

    Pakistan's record against Australia our worst against any side but compared to Indias record is way superior. Feel free to check those stats. Now then, are you still claiming that India has a better home and away record against Auss? A simple yes or no will do.

  • narbavi on January 17, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    @getsetgopk: i didn't dodge your question i agreed we failed miserably in england and australia in 2011, but its you who is evading my question when i asked you when were u crowned world no.1 in test cricket, and also about the 3 successive whitewashes you suffered in australia, you talk about us losing 8-0, what about you losing 12-0 in australia, you lost every single test in australia in your 3 previous tours, you think that's a proud record to have?

  • Amjad on January 17, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    Narbavi: Enough with this dogging and ducking, still waiting for an answer, name the country that has lost 0-8 on consecutive series in the entire history of test cricket. Comeback when you have the answer. This good old decade is all you have in your entire history of over 60 years of cricket. Till 2000, Indias W/L ratio in away tests is a meager 0.18. Read it again, its 0.18. Forget about this decade and that decade, Paks overall W/L ratio in away games is 0.74, thats miles ahead of India, any day. And while find the answer to my first question, do one more thing, when was the first time India won a test match on Pakistan's soil?

  • narbavi on January 17, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    @getsetgopk: And we all know pakistan got whitewashed 3-0 the last time they played in aus in 2010, whitewashed 3-0 in 2005 as well, infact if i remember correctly, the last 3 series you played in australia you got whitewashed 3-0 all the time

  • narbavi on January 17, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    @getsetgopk: Yes we lost badly no doubt, but in that same period we also won tests in australia, series in england and drew a series in south africa, did you achieve any of that in the last decade? we were also the no.1 test team in the world for two and half years whether u like it or not, did pakistan ever get near that spot?

  • Amjad on January 16, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    @Narbavi: What has Pakistan done in the past decade? Really? Is that what an Indian fan should be asking on cricket forums these days? Or should the question that needs to be raised by India fans is what has happened to India in the recent year or two? And while you think about it, name a country that has been whitewashed in consecutive tests series in the whole darn history of this game that you are commenting on here. As is the case with most India fans, all you see is that good old past decade, why dont you go back to when your country started playing this game? And that good old decade has all but came down crashing with whitewashes and defeats at home, lost to Pak too. Not even the tailor made pitches and that ridiculous stance on DRS couldn't save your sorry side. Can't explain all of what Pak has done but pretty sure Pak wont do what India has done in the coming billion years. Lost 9 out of 10 tests, thats something one expects of a team like BD, a minnow who shouldn't be playin

  • narbavi on January 16, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    @khurramsch: Agree but he says india doesn't warrant test status now whereas pakistan does, over the last 15 years u compare the records and u can clearly see that india is miles ahead of pakistan and srilanka when it comes to what they have achieved as a test nation, yes we are struggling recently but still just take a look and you will know

  • khurram on January 16, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    @narbavi: mate though i don not agree with the coments of getsetgopk to which you are replying. but my only coment is in your response. if you want to see record, why only last decade? why not see overall record? & pakistan's overall record overseas is still better than many other teams ( even with a poor last decade ). i dont see any point for talking about past ( part of past ).

  • narbavi on January 16, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    @getsetgopk: Test cricket is limited to only few teams but u add pakistan in that list? really? tell me what has pakistan achieved in england south africa and australia in the decade or so, come on tell us

  • Par on January 15, 2013, 21:47 GMT

    @getsetgopk : Oh we respect test cricket alright. We measure respect in terms of how much TV audience we get, rates of advt, the TV rights, dancers etc :P. And how can you shield test players, the old school of dravid/ SRT/ Laxman, even 2 years ago sehwag/ gambhir/ zaheer/Bhajan were all crowd-pullers. And yes so many were "Icons" :). Now if you shield SRT, MI wouldnt have broke even for 10 years! So yes we love test cricket but we also love the money, lot more!

    The IPL can be spread across 2 months/ 3 months but when can we organize it?? Scorching heats of summer or rainy monsoons ? They are killing these players, batsmen's techniques going to dogs/ bowlers "honing skills" in T20s and year round SL tours, there go our so called test specialist!. Even amongst them I felt dravid/ VVS were only two who would have cared for test cricket. But if they had stopped playing in IPL, BCCI would have kicked them out of test team, that is how convoluted stuff is.

    For now, I am happy 4 Hafeez!