Pakistan news

Hafeez wants improvements in domestic pitches, support staff

Umar Farooq

March 28, 2013

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Mohammad Hafeez was caught at slip, South Africa v Pakistan, 5th ODI, Benoni, March 24, 2013
Mohammad Hafeez: "We need to improve things in the domestic structure including the pitches, making them more competitive" © AFP
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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

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Posted by 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.

Posted by   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

Posted by sami01 on (March 30, 2013, 6:33 GMT)

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

Posted by 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.

Posted by   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?

Posted by 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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by   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 .

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