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Cricket | Champions Trophy

Misbah-ul Haq © Gallo Images

Pakistan to train on 'English' pitches



Pakistan's cricket authorities on Thursday ordered English-style pitches to help their struggling batsmen prepare for the Champions Trophy, to be played in England in June.

Pakistani batsmen had a woeful time on the fast and bouncy tracks in South Africa where they were whitewashed 3-0 in tests and edged out 3-2 in the one-day series last month.

Teams from the sub-continent raised on slow, dry pitches have traditionally struggled in countries like England and South Africa, where conditions offer more help to quick bowlers.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided that after the South African debacle, in which the tourists were shot out for their lowest test score of 49 in the first test in Johannesburg, the team needed intense preparation for the eight-nation Champions Trophy to be held from June 6-23.

"The committee noted that during the South Africa tour batsmen struggled and considering the venue of the Champions Trophy it was decided that special pitches, which are close to the English conditions, would be prepared for the training camp," a PCB release said.

The 10-day camp will be held at Abbottabad, north of Islamabad, while legendary paceman Wasim Akram will lead a separate 10-day fast bowling clinic in Karachi. Wasim will later join the camp in Abbottabad for a few days, the PCB said.

Media reports said captain Misbah-ul Haq had suggested the team should prepare on fast pitches for the tournament, in which Pakistan face the West Indies, South Africa and arch-rivals India in the initial group stage.

Defending champions Australia, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka make up the other group.

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