‘Their tummies are visible, lower are heavy’: Misbah-ul-Haq unimpressed with Pakistan’s fitness standards

Former Pakistan captain and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has slammed Pakistan cricket team for their abysmal fitness standards, right before their T20 World Cup campaign in Australia. Misbah, who vacated the head coach position in 2021, has claimed that there haven’t been any fitness tests and there is not even any benchmark to follow. Further, he said that the fitness becomes a joke during the domestic season.

“Clear cut, fitness issues are visible, Waqar left four times [as coach], I left once. Players like myself, Shoaib Malik, and Younis Khan were quite into fitness, and we used to push ourselves. Those who push others out of their limitations are not considered good trainers nor good coaches. Their tummies are visible; their lower are heavy and they can’t move. The reason behind this is there has not been a single fitness test, there is no benchmark,” Misbah was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.

“Fitness test level during domestic season becomes a joke. We used to have arguments that we used to say that the standard used for the international level must be used for the domestic level as well. The responsible people at the domestic level always opposed us related to fitness, “added the former Men in Green captain, who was easily one of the fittest cricketers during his active days at the international level.

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In the current Pakistan line-up, the likes of Babar Azam, Shadab Khan, Md Rizwan and Shaheen Afridi are considered fit but the likes of Asif Ali, Shan Masood, etc. are the fittest of the lot. Currently, the national side is gearing up for their T20 WC opener, where they face India at the MCG, Melbourne on October 23 (Sunday). They are placed in Pool B with India, Bangladesh and South Africa whereas two more teams will join from the qualifiers.

Squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan (vc), Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Usman Qadir