More than half of the 31 players attending Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) boot camp at the Kakul Military Academy have failed their fitness tests, Press Trust of India reported on Wednesday.
According to reports from the camp, four players who have been outstanding in the fitness drills so far are Test captain Misbahul Haq, senior batsman Younus Khan, Fawad Alam and Shan Masood.
“Misbah, Younus, Shan and Fawad have maintained a consistent standard,” a source said on condition of anonymity.
“However, what is of concern is that apart from a few players, rest have failed to impress the military trainers, fielding coaches, and fitness trainer Grant Ludan,” he added.
The fitness drills carried out by military trainers include long distance running, 100 metre sprints, hurdles sprint and steep climbing.
According to the source, after initial camp results, the trainers have now devised a new plan for other players which means they would now have to wake up at 7 am and do the drills till noon.
The board has maintained that fitness would be crucial measure on deciding the touring squad for upcoming England series. “The PCB has made it very clear that fitness will be a key element when deciding on the touring squad for England,” the source said. “One reason for the decline in team’s performance in limited-overs format has been greatly attributed to low level of fitness among players.”
The selectors had initially invited 35 players for the camp, leaving out senior players like Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul and former T20 captain Shahid Afridi.
However, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Zulfiqar Babar and Imad Wasim were all ruled out of the boot camp before it began due to fitness issues, whereas Yasir Shah missed the opening day of camp citing pain in his left knee.