Pakistan a wonderful country for cricket: Joe Root


England Test captain Joe Root has said that he would love to visit Pakistan for a cricket series after former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram said that England must tour Pakistan to reciprocate the ongoing visit of Azhar Ali and his men despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Pakistan Cricket team is currently on tour to England and playing a series of three Tests and three T20Is under unusual circumstances with players staying in a bio-secure environment and matches being played behind the closed doors.

The second of three-match series ended in a draw on Monday and following the game, Root told an online media conference that the would love to visit Pakistan.

“I’d love to go and visit Pakistan,” when this correspondent asked the English captain about his thoughts of visiting the country.

“It’d be a great opportunity to go and play there personally. Unfortunately, it’s not my decision to make but Pakistan is a wonderful country to go and play cricket. The wickets look nice and flat as well, which would be a nice change to what we’ve just played on here,” he said.

England has not visited Pakistan since 2005 due to security concerns and both the countries have played Pakistan’s home series at neutral venues of UAE since then.

They are now scheduled to tour Pakistan in 2022 but Pakistan Cricket Board is looking to have them in touring for a short series before the scheduled tour to Pakistan.

Pakistan, in December last year, hosted the first Test after ten years on home soil to mark the return of full cricket to home and the PCB is now confident of hosting all the future series at the home venue.

“You could see the emotion back in Pakistan when Test cricket was there, last year. I’m also speaking to a few of the players, how much it meant to them as well. They really appreciated being able to playback in Pakistan too,” Root mentioned about the return of Test Cricket in Pakistan.

“But, again, with such a busy schedule already backlogging due to COVID it is interesting to see how that would work,” he said.

The England captain also spoke about the delays and waste of time due to bad-lights rule during the second Test at Southampton and said that nature of the playing conditions that led to several long delays in England’s draw with Pakistan in the second Test should be looked at by the ICC.

“We found ourselves in a very strange position this week with bad light playing a major factor, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game be affected by bad light as much as this, which is very frustrating. The ground-staff have done everything they can and thankfully we got some cricket today. I do think it’s hard to blame the umpires here. I think it’s something bigger that needs looking at higher up the chain,” Root said.

“Maybe there has to be a minimum standard of floodlights and play on throughout with a slightly lighter red ball rather than a dark Dukes ball. But until those things change from the ICC, the umpires have to follow the rules that are in front of them and as players, we have to do as we’re told,” he added.

He also suggested the possibility of starting earlier than 11am to make up time for overs lost.

“You don’t necessarily have to start every day at 10.30am, but maybe if you need to make time up, that’s something you could look at throughout the game so light isn’t as much of an issue. It’s a possibility, I suppose. Something to maybe look at.

However, he wasn’t sure if this could be a possibility during the Third Test between Pakistan and England at the same venue with a forecast of similar weather.

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