Christopher Martin-Jenkins, courtesy of the author and the Times where this essay appeared in the regular column Thunderer,** under a different title
Have you tuned in these last two weeks to the strangest sporting spectacle of the winter? Were we watching proper Test cricket in the entrepot and melting pot of Dubai, that fantastical oil-fired architects’ playground in the desert? Do three matches, decided in eleven days, more often than not before sparse crowds on neutral territory and producing a record 42 leg before wicket decisions constitute a genuine Test series?
Pakistan Test squad in triumph – Pic by Lakruwan Wanniaratchchi for AFP
Yes, emphatically yes; and fascinating, riveting, Test cricket at that, odd as it was and inconvenient though it may be that England batted badly and were trounced. It was a far more interesting series than is normally the case when England play away in Pakistan, where most games have been bore-draws played out at a slow pace on dry, dull surfaces. Only six of Pakistan’s 25 home Tests against England at home have been won by either side. Read the rest of this entry ?