England vs Pakistan 2016: 15 of 31 Pakistani cricketers fail fitness test ahead of their tour of England
With Pakistan set to tour England in the middle of July later this year, the newly appointed Pakistan head coach, Mickey Arthur already knew his task was cut out. However, the results coming from the ongoing boot camp currently being held at the Kakul Military Academy in Abbottabad is certain to have raised his eyebrows. It has been reported that almost half (15) of the 31 shortlisted players who had to undergo an extensive fitness test at the boot camp couldn't quite cope up with its standard.
However, according to a source, the current Pakistani Test captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, senior Pakistani batsman, Younis Khan along with Fawad Alam and Shaan Masood have passed the aforementioned fitness test with flying colours. The source also confirmed that the fitness test comprised of a number of drills including long distance running, 100-metre sprints, hurdle sprints and steep climbing which had been carried out by the Pakistani military fitness trainers.
“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 Luden in the fitness drills,” PTI quoted the source. “Misbah, Younis, Shaan and Fawad have maintained a consistent standard.”
It is also believed that the Pakistan team fielding coach, Grant Luden along with the military trainers have come up with a new plan for the 15 ‘unfit’ players which requires them to wake up at 7 am and continue with the drills until 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 added. “One reason for the decline in the team's performances in the limited over formats in recent months has been the general low level of fitness among the players. this fact had been highlighted by outgoing coach, Waqar Younis and the senior manager, Intikhab Alam in their reports after the Asia Cup and World T20.”
It has also been reported that the Pakistani selection committee decided to shortlist 35 cricketers for the ongoing fitness camp leaving the likes of Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Gul aside. However, a number of Pakistani cricketers including Yasir Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Zulfiqar Babar and Emad Wasim have been ruled out of the fitness camp due to fitness issues.