The Rawalpindi pitch on which Ben Stokes and Co racked up a world-record 506 runs on the first day of the first Test has come under severe criticism from all quarters. After the end of play on Day 2, the lifeless pitch was the hot topic at the press conference as well.
A senior journalist and Pakistan’s media manager got into a verbal spat during the presser attended by pace sensation Naseem Shah. The incident occurred when the journalist asked Naseem about Australian legend Dennis Lillee’s joke about a poor pitch he had played on in Faisalabad.
The journalist asked, “There was a wicket like this a long time back in Faisalabad and Dennis Lillee had said that he would like to be cremated on a pitch like this when he dies. Do you think it was a wicket like that?”
Naseem smiled and quipped, “Sir ab aap mujhe maarne ke chakkar me hain (Sir it seems you want to get me into trouble).”
The journalist seemed to be taken aback by Naseem’s reply and furiously said, “Meri topi, ye salwaar kameez dekh ke ye na soche ki mai naya aya hu. Ye saare bacche hai mere saamne. Mujhe sawaal puchne de na, ye kya tareeka hai. Aap mujhe batayenge tareeka. Aap paida nai hue the tab se mai sports journalism kar raha hu. Tareeka aap batayenge mujhe? (Don’t judge me by my clothes and think that I am new in this job. They are all kids in front of me. Let me ask the question, what kind of behaviour is this. Will you teach me how to talk? You weren’t even born when I started doing sports journalism. You will teach me how to talk?)."
Now a clip of the whole incident has gone viral on Twitter.
Naseem later apologized to the journalist and told the moderator to let him ask his question.
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja has himself criticized the Rawalpindi pitch as “embarrassing”. Many fans have trolled the Pakistan Cricket Board for creating a dead pitch for England’s first Test appearance in Pakistan in 17 years.
While England notched 657 runs in their first innings, Pakistan also put up a decent 579 on the board. This historic Test match has witnessed as many as seven batters smashing centuries before the end of Day 3.