ISLAMABAD: The fitness tests for the centrally contracted cricketers starting from today (Monday) are not meant to clear or reject a player rather than these are being conducted to keep leading players in shape for good days ahead, claimed Pakistan team head coach Misbahul Haq in his video message.
As many as 19 centrally contracted players plus a few provincial associations’ cricketers who were unavailable earlier would be tested on their latest physical condition following almost a month of isolation at home.
“What we want is to see players’ fitness at the same level which was there at the time of lockdown. The trainers have already imparted all the important points to players regarding how to maintain fitness and what to do while staying at home during this lockdown period.
“We are to start the fitness tests of all the players from Monday. These tests are not meant to make players pay for their inability to keep their fitness level but to ascertain the level of their fitness. What we want is to know as how hard they have exerted during this period to keep themselves in shape and if there are some hiccups and lack of effort, we want to discuss it with that particular player,” Misbah said in his message.
“There will be no penalty for the players for failing to achieve a target, rather than these tests would help us judge his status. Our basic purpose is to make all the cricketers realise about putting in their best efforts to retain the required fitness level. By the time the life gets back to normal, we want to see them ready for the national and international events.”
Misbah said the fans around the country would have been desperately waiting for the return of cricket action at grounds. “Insha Allah at the return of normalcy, we don’t want any player to take more days to regain fitness rather than they should be ready to give their hundred per cent.”
The head coach said the trainers and coaching staff had been in touch with these players. “Some of the cricketers had requested for early fitness tests and these tests are being conducted by provincial associations trainers.”
Apart from a few centrally contracted cricketers, majority of those having contracts with the provincial teams have already going through the fitness test process these days. “All those players who have contracts with the provincial associations and had represented these teams in the domestic cricket are also going through the testing process. Only the other day Sohaib Maqsood, who represents Sothern Punjab in the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy, got injured receiving class cut at the place where he was asked to perform fitness test. However, the cut was not serious and he preferred continuing taking tests,” a PCB official when contacted said.
He backed Misbah’s stance that these tests were not meant to clear or reject a player, rather these are meant to keep cricketers fit and ready. “The qualification fitness tests will be conducted once life gets back to normal.”