Quaid-e-Azam trophy is the most premium tournament of Pakistan domestic cricket and it is one of the most debated issues these days. The premier tournament started on September 26 and seven matches were held at different venues. The championship for the following year has been criticised due to various reasons including the new-ball introduced, quality of pitches, the weather affecting matches, the umpiring standards and the conduct of spectators during the matches.

To address these issues, two of the senior Pakistani cricketers, who are featuring in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2017/2018, Abdur Rehman (22 Tests, 31 ODIs and eight T20s) from HBL and Kamran Akmal (53 Tests, 157 ODIs and 58 T20s matches) from Wapda were contacted. They had very contrasting reviews in terms of the new-ball used.

Spinner Abdur Rehman termed the ball as effective and long lasting. He also recommended it for further practice as well. While on the other hand, wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal was apprehensive and said that the Duke Ball is not favourable for the pitch. Furthermore, Kamran said the players were frequent users of the Grace Ball, which was being used previously. He recommended the usage of the local ball, Grace, as it proves to be beneficial for the manufacturer as well as for the players.

Misbah-ul-Haq, who was the most successful captain of Pakistan cricket history, has urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to focus on improving the standard of pitches during the domestic tournaments. It is a major problem after substandard umpiring, which is the main hurdle in improving the standard of Pakistan domestic cricket.

Abdur Rehman revealed that the pitches were not up-to-mark and cause hindrance for the ball to bounce properly. Kamran, on the other hand, said the pitches were not much of an issue especially in Abbottabad, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi. However, he categorised a few pitches to be inappropriate and needed to be improved.

There was not a single bowl has been bowled in one of the Faisalabad matches during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy but both the players agreed that they have witnessed the dense fog this time but stated that weather effected the game in the past too. If the PCB opted to schedule their premium domestic event two weeks before when it started now, then it would be effective.

In terms of the umpiring of the matches, both the players were contended and reviewed that apart from a few petty issues, the standard of umpiring was made better. It means that the PCB has been focusing on this very important area, which is considered as very significant, and a wrong decision can change the entire match. So the better the standard of the umpiring will be during the premier cricketing activity of the country, the better the standard of Pakistan cricket will be.

Last but not the least is the most important issue is viewership of this important event. Both the players reviewed that the security action plans for the players and crowd need to be improved. At various instances, the players feel unsafe and vulnerable. Abdur Rehman said he was pushed twice by the spectators during the Quaid-e-Azam trophy matches while Kamran suggested having a proper code of conduct for the audience and a proper action plan to maintain the decorum of the cricket match.

Lastly, Kamran also proposed that the PCB should introduce the concept of day and night 5-day matches in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy so that the player may get a complete exposure to this idea. Till now, Pakistan have played two day and night test matches so far. England, Australia, West Indies and Sri Lanka are also practicing day and night Test matches, which give a lead that it could be a part of the Test cricket in near future.