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Is a fitness camp enough?

A fitness and training camp for the Pakistan cricket team is in progress in Lahore. ...

Is a fitness camp enough?
Photo by Arif Ali / AFP.

A fitness and training camp for the Pakistan cricket team is in progress in Lahore.

According to PCB the objective of the camp is to improve physical fitness of all players, to enhance the technical aspect of each player’s game and to prepare them for international events.

The training camp is part of Pakistan’s preparations for next year’s ICC World Twenty20 in India.

The 26 players who will attend the camp will be eligible for the limited overs series in New Zealand starting from January 15.

Pakistan will play three one-day and as many Twenty20 internationals on their tour to New Zealand.

They then feature in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh which will be followed by the World Twenty20 in India in March-April.

The most interesting name among the invited 26 players is that of fast bowler Mohammad Amir.

Despite objections from some senior players, including Muhammad Hafeez, the PCB chairman and the selection committee have agreed to include fast bowler in the national side for the important tours, especially the World Twenty20.

But Amir’s selection for the tour of New Zealand hinges on his getting visa.

Some former players, including Wasim Akram, have backed Amir’s return, saying he has already completed his five-year ban.

The object of the camp is to improve players’ fitness level, which is the lowest in the international circuit.

A temporary camp may be helpful for the players to improve their fitness and skills, but it’s not a permanent solution as only a limited number of players can be invited to the camp. And they, too, will get training for a limited period. The management should have a plan for all the domestic players.

Injuries to leading cricketers are a common phenomenon these days. Players are human beings and need rest after excessive cricket.

Throughout the year, Test series, ODI tournaments, county cricket, Twenty20 and now different leagues are played and there is not much gap. But huge financial benefits encourage players to participate in every game.

Our batsmen are not fully fit and their stamina is not up to the international standards.

Unfortunately our heroes didn’t receive the response from their respective franchises in BPL they deserve.

Fast bowler Mohammad Sami and opener Ahmed Shahzad got regular chances, but other Pakistani players, including Misbah ul Haq, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Khan, Nasir Jamshed, Shahzaib Hasan, and Mohammad Irfan, saw their team matches from the bench.

At least the senior players should withdraw from Twenty20 cricket. But promises of huge sums of money make it difficult for them to stay away.

Players are getting handsome amounts from the board after signing central contracts, receiving millions as match fees, daily allowance and winning bonus.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should take notice of the players’ excessive cricket for counties and their Twenty20 commitments.

They are our national assets and the board is paying them salary and other benefits. The board spends huge money for their treatment when they are injured. But when the team needs a 100 percent fit player he is found injured and not available for the national side.

Many players don’t take part in domestic cricket for “personal reasons” but always remain available for money-making matches abroad, even in non-Test playing countries.

Senior players should skip matches against low-ranked sides so that they may remain fit and fresh for tougher oppositions.

The second advantage of the senior players’ exclusion would be that junior players would gain some international experience.

Many a time, Pakistan’s cricket authorities have tried young players against good oppositions, which resulted in their losing confidence.

The medical panel of the PCB must take notice of the players’ recurring injuries. The panel should set a high standard for the players and when a player is injured after a short time again the medical panel and the board must take notice and find out the reasons.

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