Hasan Ali: No more smart watches for Pakistan after ICC intervention
Tourists impressed at Lord’s but have been asked to drop wearable technology.
Pakistan seamer Hasan Ali has confirmed an anti-corruption officer asked the tourists to stop wearing smart watches on the field of play.
Photographs emerged on day one of the first NatWest Test at Lord’s of Asad Shafiq wearing a watch, which can transmit data if enabled.
A report on Cricinfo added that he was one of two players spotted doing so – and although it is unclear as yet whether the transmitting capability was enabled, it is anticipated International Cricket Council officials will check that fact.
At his close-of-play press conference after helping to bowl England out for an under-par 184, despite a battling 70 from Alastair Cook, Hasan clarified that an ICC official had spoken to the tourists – and they will therefore leave their watches off the field in future.
There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Pakistan, and Hasan said: “I didn’t know earlier that anyone was wearing one.
“But yes, an ICC anti-corruption officer came to us and told us this is not allowed. So next time nobody will wear them.”
After Pakistan closed on 50 for one, Cook reflected on England captain Joe Root’s tight call to bat first under cloud cover – on a pitch he expects to deteriorate.
“I think it was a hard decision,” he said.
“It will be easy at the end of the game to say whether it was the right one.
“Fundamentally that’s a dry wicket underneath – but it had green grass on it, and rained overnight. So it was a bit of a weird one.”
Cook suspects forecast hot weather over this weekend may well mean batting last in this match is as difficult as batting first was.
“Lord’s over the last couple of years, if it does get hot, the wicket tends to crack,” he added.
“It could be one of those ‘first innings plays fourth innings’ games.”
England weathered some of the most difficult conditions only to lose their last five wickets for just 16 runs after tea as Hasan and Mohammad Abbas shared eight between them.
“We knew the first two hours were going to be tough, and we scrapped hard,” said Cook.
“But then from 150 for five, to get bowled out for 180 is frustrating. It probably did a little bit more than we expected it to.
“Pakistan gutsed it out well there at the end. But 50 for one can be 80 for four, 120 for seven, and the game changes.”
As for his own performance, England’s all-time record runscorer had mixed feelings at returning to form but missing out on a 33rd Test century.
“It is frustrating when you do all the hard work and don’t go on and get a hundred, but I played okay,” he said.
“A few things had crept into my game over the last six months or so, exaggerated in New Zealand, where I couldn’t get my weight back into the ball as I’d like.
“But you go away and work on it, and I thought it was pretty decent today.”
Root fell for just four runs, edging an attempted drive at a very wide but full ball.
Cook said: “We’ve all played a bad shot before, you don’t mean to nick it, but sometimes you’ve just got to hold your hands up and say you played a bad one. The bloke averages 50 odd in Test cricket – he’s a world-class player – so I don’t think we need to worry.
“Of course, you want to start the summer well. But if he scores 150 in the second innings it doesn’t matter, does it?”