The Pakistan Cricket Board has been under severe criticism this ongoing season because of the poor quality pitches being prepared for the country’s premier domestic tournament, the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (QeA Trophy).
The cricket board’s media department took to Twitter to issue a clarification on the matter in which it said, “Majority of the cricket grounds have been refurbished & pitches were replenished with new clay that needs proper compaction and time to settle down. Newly laid pitches always favor bowlers in the early season which is the case here.”
But the statistics say otherwise. Here’s a Cricingif round-up of the first stage – which comprised of seven rounds - of the QeA Trophy.
Despite the PCB’s statement alluding that the pitches will get batting friendly as the tournament progresses, the batting averages say otherwise.
The batting average in the first round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy was 24.55 which fell by 0.75 runs in the second round. It got worse by 3.04 runs by the third round before a jump of almost six runs in the fourth round. It declined by almost 4 runs the next round. It continued to dip and was 21.74 in the sixth round. The batting average for the seventh round was 19.81, the exact opposite of what the board claimed.
Due to the abysmal state of pitches, matches have ended earlier. Three matches ended inside three days in the first round, with just five entering the fourth and the final day.
From the second till the fifth round, only half of the fixtures went into the final day, with one match apiece ending within just two days in the second, third, and fifth rounds. Just three matches made it to the final day in the sixth round.
However, five matches made it to the last day in the most recent round. (Note: A match between Faisalabad and Peshawar was abandoned without a ball being bowled in the last round)
*A match between Lahore Whites and Karachi Whites ended in a draw (one of the five matches to have reached the fourth day). It could not begin on day one because the curator was unable to prepare the pitch in time.
With 16 teams in the competition and each team batting twice, the maximum number can be 32 in a round. It was 25 in the first round and increased to 28 by round three after a dip in the second round. It fell again in the fourth round but since then, it has only increased.
(Note: A match between Faisalabad and Peshawar was abandoned without a ball being bowled in the last round)
Ahsan Iftikhar Nagi tweets @ahsannagi