PCB, Ramiz Raja under fire after record-breaking opening stand from England

Pakistani fans were left disappointed by the nature of the surface on show in Rawalpindi as England piled on the runs before lunch on Day 1.ย 

Pakistan's passionate fanbase has put the Ramiz Raja led Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) regime under scrutiny after a record-breaking opening stand between Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett for England on Day 1 of the historic three-match Test series. 

The two English openers went for the lunch interval standing 91 and 77 not out in Rawalpindi on Thursday (December 1) after a morning where runs were scored on both sides of the wicket above 6 runs an over. Both the batters ended up scoring tons, with Crawley making 122 off 111 balls and Duckett finishing 107 off 110 deliveries in a stand that fetched England 233 runs before the first wicket fell.

The Crawley-Duckett stand made 174 not out before the first break of the series to put the surface at disposal and Pakistan's insipid bowling display under scanner. Also, put under the spotlight was PCB chief Ramiz and his regime which had promised to change the tracks in Pakistan. 

The fans questioned why such a deck had been prepared for the crucial opening Test of the series when Pakistan are already missing their premier quick Shaheen Afridi and lack a quality spinner up their sleeves. Such a surface only allowed England to warm up to the conditions in Pakistan after 17 years, helping them ease into the Test series with a record stand. 

Runs galore in Rawalpindi; Pakistani fans react 

The social media went into a frenzy as Pakistani fans reacted in anger and dismay towards their bowling unit and the PCB for preparing what many believe is a lifeless track in Rawalpindi. The two English openers piled on the misery for the Babar Azam led hosts, reaching 174 in 27 overs before going off for the lunch interval. They eventually reached 233 for 0 before the first breakthrough for the hosts. 

Here is how they reacted: 



Pakistan seemed to have not learnt anything from their Test series loss against Australia earlier in the year where a pair of flat pitches allowed the visitors to comfortably ease into the tour before their pace-heavy attack overcame the conditions in the final Test to record a historic 1-0 series win. 

With the Asian giants due to host England and New Zealand over five Tests in the next six weeks, their home decks will be under the spotlight. Err on the too flatter side and Pakistan leave themselves vulnerable of allowing the two tourists to put their inexperienced bowling under pressure at home and steal crucial World Test Championship (WTC) points away.