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'Inzamam ordered a flat wicket at Lahore'

January 20, 2006 15:50 IST

The raging controversy over who was responsible for preparing a lifeless pitch for the first Test in Lahore [Images] took a new turn with the Pakistan Cricket Board inquiry blaming home captain Inzamam-ul-Haq [Images] at whose behest the curator prepared a grass less pitch.

"Inzamam does not like grass and an in house inquiry conducted by the board revealed that the Pakistan captain had instructed for a grassless pitch in Lahore," local daily The News quoted an unnamed PCB official as saying.

The official said Pakistan skipper opted for a flat pitch as Pakistann batsmen were not well equipped to play the swinging ad seaming deliveries and a grassy pitch could have made life difficult for them.

Asked why the curator prepared a good sporting wicket for the recently concluded series against England [Images] which Pakistan won and a bland wicket against India, he said "the curator acted on Inzamam's instructions."

The newspaper quoted a former Pakistan cricketer attached to the PCB as saying "every captain wants to exploit the home conditions and before preparing the wickets curators always consult the home captain. If the grassless dull wicket was prepared for the Lahore it is not possible without the home captain's consent."

Branding Inzamam as a "defensive captain", he said the curators could blamed for not being able to prepare a good track. But you cannot remove the grass altogether without the home captain's consent. Before preparing a pitch the curators have to consult the team management and are supposed to act on their instruction," he said.

"He (Inzamam) is a defensive captain and that is a proven fact. He wanted to start the tour on a defensive note and that is what happened in Lahore," he said and predicted that the Faisalabad wicket could be more sporting but would not be a bowler friendly one either.

"I do not think Inzamam will opt for a green top wicket in Faisalabad," he said.

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