“Some of them couldn’t complete a 2 km trial run,” Mohammad Hafeez slams Pakistan players’ fitness standards

Hafeez claimed that the Pakistan players do not have the fitness standard to play international cricket.

Mohammad Hafeez performed the role of Pakistan team director on the tour of Australia and New Zealand | GettyAfter parting ways with the Pakistan cricket team, Mohammad Hafeez has claimed that the Pakistan players do not have the fitness standard to play international cricket.

The PCB appointed Hafeez as team director following Pakistan’s abysmal display in the World Cup 2023. However, the decision didn’t yield a fruitful result as they suffered a 3-0 whitewash in the Test series Down Under and lost the five-T20I series 4-1 in New Zealand.

Last week, Hafeez’s tenure with the national team came to an end as the PCB decided against extending his contract.

Speaking on A Sports, Mohammad Hafeez has now made a startling revelation, saying that the Pakistan cricketers have not focused on their fitness in the last six months and are not fit to compete in international cricket.

“When we went to Australia, I told the players to take care of their fitness levels. I also asked the trainer about the fitness of the players. He told me a shocking thing that six months ago captain (Babar Azam) and Director of Cricket (Mickey Arthur) told me to stop checking the players on the fitness parameters and let them play the way they want," Hafeez stated.

Pakistan played the World Cup 2023 in India under the leadership of Babar Azam. The Men in Green endured a dismal campaign as they failed to qualify for the semi-final after losing five out of their nine league-stage matches.

After the World Cup debacle, Babar stepped down as captain across all formats while the Mickey Arthur-led coaching staff was sacked.

Subsequently, the PCB named Shan Masood as Test captain was Shaheen Afridi was chosen as T20I skipper. However, both of them couldn’t produce positive results on the tours of Australia and New Zealand.

Reflecting on the poor performances, Hafeez said some of the players would not be able to complete a 2-kilometer run if they were asked to.

"When the fat levels of the players were checked, the skin fold of all of them was high - for most players it was 1.5 times the limit. They were unfit and some of them couldn’t complete a 2 km trial run. The decision taken 6 months back overruled the set criteria for fitness. You will suffer defeats if the fitness is like that,” Hafeez added.


By Salman Anjum - 21 Feb, 2024

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