Mohammad Hafeez raised questions about the fitness standards of the current Pakistan Cricket Team

Mohammad Hafeez raised questions about the fitness standards of the current Pakistan Cricket Team

Recently, the ex-all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez commented on the fitness levels within the current Pakistan cricket squad.

Hafeez, the former Director of the Pakistan cricket team, voiced his concerns about the team’s physical fitness under the previous management, which included coaches Mickey Arthur and Grant Bradburn, as well as the current captain, Babar Azam, during a podcast with Michael Vaughan and Adam Gilchrist. He pointed out that the lack of emphasis on player fitness had negatively impacted their performance in the recent Test series in Australia. Additionally, Hafeez shared his disappointment with the team’s trainer for following the past management’s fitness directives.

He questioned, “When I retired from this team, I had met all the fitness criteria. If I could achieve that at 41, why can’t the others? Upon becoming the Director, I observed an increase in the players’ body fat percentage and a decrease in their running capacity. I inquired with the trainer about these changes and why the players were failing the tests.”

Hafeez continued, “The trainer disclosed a shocking revelation that the previous management had instructed him to disregard the fitness standards and allow the players to play as they wished until the World Cup 2023.”

“I wondered why he didn’t resign at once when asked to neglect his duties. He should have declared that international cricketers should not be managed in such a manner. However, he replied that he couldn’t do anything at the time as he was following the management’s orders. This is the reason we struggled in the final innings of the Test series against Australia; we appeared fatigued due to the lack of fitness,” Hafeez concluded.

Previously, Hafeez had revealed that fitness was not prioritized and expressed his concerns about the team’s disregard for fitness, referencing conversations with then-captain Babar Azam and the coaching staff. He also noted a worrying trend in the players’ body fat levels, which are essential indicators of fitness and performance.

It should be noted that Pakistan has recently endured a series of setbacks, marked by subpar performances in the Asia Cup and the ODI World Cup. They were defeated in a Test series by Australia, which led to Shan Masood assuming the captaincy from Babar Azam. Furthermore, they faced a considerable defeat in the T20I series against New Zealand.

In the high-stakes game of cricket, where every run counts and every second matters, the importance of maintaining peak fitness levels cannot be overstated. A cricket team with superior fitness not only demonstrates agility and endurance on the field but also exhibits a sharp mental edge, crucial for making split-second decisions. It’s the difference between a run saved or a catch dropped, a quick single or a run-out. As the game evolves, so does the demand for athletes who can sustain their energy and focus through the grueling hours of play. Ultimately, a team’s fitness is a testament to their dedication, a reflection of their discipline, and often, the deciding factor in their triumphs. Fitness, therefore, is not just a part of cricket; it is the very foundation upon which games are won and legends are built.

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