England played a Test match in Pakistan after 17 long years and the Ben Stokes-led team ensured it is a memorable one as they registered an emphatic victory over the Men in Green. A lot of runs were scored on the Rawalpindi pitch as bowlers had nothing to work with. And for the same reason, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) faced a lot of criticism.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam also blamed the dead pitch for his team’s defeat to England. Azam said that they did not get the kind of pitch they asked for. Meanwhile, PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja accepted that the pitch was not up to the mark.
Now, former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar, who was in the house on the final day of the first Test has slammed Raja for his remarks. While reviewing Pakistan’s loss, Akhtar said that Ramiz should know that he has the authority to make better pitches.
"Chairman himself saying we should have made a better wicket and England batted well. Oo bhaiji, chairman aap hai (Brother, you are the chairman); you have the authority to make better pitches," said a fuming Akhtar on his YouTube channel.
Akhtar also criticized Pakistan for their defensive mindset. The former speedster said that while England were looking to score run-a-ball, Pakistan made 350 look like a big total. Akhtar also pointed out England’s time of declaration and asked if Pakistan would have done the same.
"Pakistan did not even take the chance which were availed to them. England gave them a chance to save the Test match but Pakistan did not take it. There’s a difference in mindset. The situation where England declared yesterday, would Pakistan have done the same? They wouldn’t have,” said Akhtar.
“Their coach McCullum said that they’ll play a run a ball in Test cricket," said Akhtar. "They won’t go for draws. Joe Root said they want to save Test Cricket. Where are you heading with this mindset? I was there and felt sad by the approach. You can't play with lack of courage."
“It’s very disappointing. England made the effort to make this Test match interesting. They gave Pakistan a chance to avoid a draw. You (Pakistan) play well and win. 350 in this wicket is not a big deal. You have already scored 150. I did not see any intent or capability. No disrespect to the youngsters. Naseem Shah, you played well. But England deserve to win. No questions about it,” Akhtar further explained.