Nick Hockley, the chief executive of Cricket Australia (CA), has reacted to Mohammad Hafeez‘s recent remarks on the pitch provided for the warm-up game between Pakistan and the Australian Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra last week.

After Pakistan’s bowlers failed to make an impact in the game, Mohammad Hafeez expressed his disappointment over the nature of the Canberra pitch. The newly-appointed Director of Cricket of the Pakistan team labeled it as the slowest pitch ever received by a visiting team in Australia.

Batting first, Pakistan had scored 391 for 9 declared with their skipper Shan Masood scoring an unbeaten double century. In reply, the PM’s XI scored 367 for 4 before the fourth day was completely washed out. After the game, Mohammad Hafeez not only expressed his disappointment over the pitch but also called it a tactic by the home side to deny Pakistan the opportunity to prepare for the series.

“To be honest we ticked most of the boxes as a team but obviously really surprised and disappointed with the pitch we received for practice match in Canberra. It was the slowest pitch on which we can ever play as a visiting team in Australia.

“Everyone knew it. There is no point in repeating it over and over again. The disappointment was really high as we were not expecting these kinds of arrangements, but it may be their tactics, but we are ready for that. We are here to beat Australia and not just compete,” he added when asked if he had raised the issue with CA.

CA CEO responds to Mohammad Hafeez’s criticism:

On Tuesday (December 12), Hockley addressed the concerns raised by Hafeez. While Hockley did not comment on the nature of the pitch, he expressed his disappointment over the last day getting washed out. Hockley also highlighted that the warm-up game will boost Pakistan’s confidence.

“The Prime Minister XI game presented a valuable opportunity for Pakistani batters to gain experience in Australian conditions. It’s unfortunate that the game couldn’t be completed due to significant weather disruptions overnight before the final day of play,” Hockley said.

“We have witnessed two substantial scores from both sides. This series serves as excellent preparation and a confidence booster for the Pakistan side. The captain’s exceptional batting performance, scoring 200, was a testament to their skill and resilience,” he further added.

The first Test of the three-match series is scheduled to be played on December 14 in Perth. Pakistan are eyeing their first Test win in Australia since 1999. They suffered whitewashes on their last five visits to Australia and will be desperate to do well in the upcoming series.

Australia squad: (first Test only) Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Lance Morris, Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, David Warner

Pakistan squad: Shan Masood (c), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi

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By David

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