That’s quite shocking! More than half of the 31 cricketers attending the Pakistan Cricket Board’s boot camp at the Kakul Military Academy didn’t pass the fitness tests ahead of their England tour.
But there is some good news also. According to reports four players – Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq, senior batsman Younis Khan, Fawad Alam and opener Shaan Masood have shown outstanding improvements in the fitness drills so far since last week.
“What is of concern is that apart from few players rest have just failed to satisfy the military trainers and the Pakistan team fielding coach and fitness trainer Grant Ludan in the fitness drills,” a source informed PTI.
The source further said the fitness drills that were carried out by the military trainers included long distance running, 100-metre sprints, hurdles sprint and steep climbing.
“Misbah, Younis, Shaan and Fawad have maintained a consistent standard,” he said.
As per the early results in the camp the military trainers and Ludan have now decided a special fitness program for the rest of the players and it will force them to wake up at 7 am and do the drills till 12 noon.
“The PCB has made it very clear that fitness will be a key element while deciding the touring squad for England,” the source also said.
The disappointing results from the fitness tests held at the national cricket academy in Lahore before the boot camp has made PCB quite concerned and they are very serious about players meeting required fitness standards.
“One reason for the decline in the team’s performances in the limited over formats in recent months has been a generally low level of fitness among the players,” he added.
It has emerged that this fact regarding the fitness of the players had been highlighted by the previous coach, Waqar Younis and the senior manager, Intikhab Alam in their reports following the failure in the Asia Cup and World T20.
The selectors initially invited 35 players for the camp excluding senior players, Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi.
But now leg spinner, Yasir Shah, senior player Mohammad Hafeez and Haris Sohail, Zulfiqar Babar and Emad Wasim have all been ruled out of the boot camp due to fitness issues.