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Cricket Australia CEO reacts to Hafeez’s criticism about Canberra pitch

Ahead of three-match Test series between Australia and Pakistan, tensions have arisen following Pakistan team director Mohammad Hafeez’s remarks on the nature of the pitch provided for their practice match in Canberra.

On Monday, Hafeez had expressed his surprise and disappointment, labeling it as the slowest pitch ever received by a visiting team in Australia.

Addressing Australian media, Hafeez voiced his concerns, saying, “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.”

When asked if he had raised the issue with Cricket Australia, Hafeez replied, “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.”

In response, Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley addressed the concerns raised by Hafeez.

“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.

Hockley also emphasized the positive aspects of the preparations.

“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.

Expressing excitement about the upcoming series, Hockley acknowledged the competitiveness of the teams and the support from Pakistani fans.

“We are excited about the upcoming Pakistan series. Witnessing the competitiveness of these teams during their last encounter in Pakistan was truly remarkable. The incredible support shown by Pakistan fans when their team reached the finals in the T20 World Cup last year was inspiring,” Hockley said.

“We anticipate a tremendous amount of backing from Pakistani fans during the Benaud Qadir Trophy, and we would be delighted to see them in full force in Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney,” he concluded.