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Business News/ Sports / Cricket News/  Babar Azam, coaches neglected team's fitness; some Pakistani players couldn’t finish 2-km run, claims Mohammad Hafeez
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Babar Azam, coaches neglected team's fitness; some Pakistani players couldn’t finish 2-km run, claims Mohammad Hafeez

The body fat percentage and endurance levels of the players were way below the international cricket standards, says former Pakistan cricket team director Mohammad Hafeez.

Former Pakistan skipper Babar Azam (AFP file photo)Premium
Former Pakistan skipper Babar Azam (AFP file photo)

Former Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and coaches Mickey Arthur and Grant Bradburn had given the lowest priority to the team's fitness level in the lead-up to the ODI World Cup in India, alleged former Pakistan cricket team director Mohammad Hafeez.

He also alleged that when tests were conducted on some Pakistani players in Australia, they could not even complete a 2-kilometre run. 

The body fat percentage and endurance levels of the players were way below the international cricket standards, claimed Hafeez. “The players’ skin fold (body fat level) was one-and-a-half points above the normal limit."

Under Babar Azam’s captaincy, Pakistan had failed to reach the semi-final knockout round. It lost five of the nine league matches and finished fifth. 

“When I took over as director (in 2023) and we reached Australia, I told the team trainer to give me a report on the players' fitness standards and prepare a new fitness regimen," Hafeez revealed on the ARY sports channel.

“He told me that the former captain (Babar) and head coach (Arthur) had told him six months ago that fitness is not the priority at the moment and let the players play as they wanted," he added. “This was shocking news for me when he (team trainer) told me that he was told to not check the players' fitness."

“Fitness in modern-day cricket is a top priority for all teams," said the former Pakistan cricket team director.

On February 15, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that it had decided to part ways with Mohammad Hafeez, who served as the director of cricket for the Pakistan men’s cricket team.

“The Pakistan Cricket Board extends heartfelt gratitude to Mohammad Hafeez, Director of Pakistan men's cricket team, for his invaluable contributions. Hafeez's passion for the game has inspired players and his mentorship during the tour of Australia and New Zealand have been of immense importance. The PCB wishes Hafeez good luck and success in his future endeavours," the PCB had posted on social media platform X. 

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Published: 21 Feb 2024, 04:54 PM IST
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