Babar Azam & Co. share insights from Kakul fitness camp

The players actively participated in demanding workouts as part of their training regimen

Babar Azam & Co. share insights from Kakul fitness camp PHOTO: PCB

The Pakistan cricket team underwent a rigorous two-week training program at the Army School of Physical Training (ASPT) in Kakul.

The players actively participated in demanding workouts as part of their training regimen.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam emphasized the importance of team bonding activities and performance-enhancing lectures, highlighting the camp's role in improving overall performance.

“This was my third boot camp, and with each visit, I’ve gleaned new insights,” Babar told PCB digital.

“This time, our focus extended beyond physical fitness to encompass team bonding activities and performance-improving lectures. These elements are crucial considering our team environment where collective performance is paramount for achieving desired results.

“The notable deviation from previous camps was the absence of cricket-centric activities. Instead, the emphasis was squarely on physical conditioning, teamwork and mental resilience. Immersed in such an inspiring facility, guided by top-notch instructors and a well-structured programme, all the players have experienced significant growth. I’m confident that we’ll return to competitive cricket as better, fitter and mentally tougher athletes, thereby enhancing our overall performance.

“Unlike our usual routine during other camps and international series, we engaged in confidence-building exercises and team-building activities. Notably, we opted to share rooms, facilitating deeper connections among team members. These shared spaces fostered discussions ranging from strategic planning and team combinations to the evolution of cricket, latest innovations in the sport, analysis of opponents and our approach to each day's challenges.

“Given the upcoming cricket fixtures, this camp proves exceptionally valuable. It not only mitigates injury risks but also augments both individual skills and collective team performance,” he added.

The camp's emphasis on physical fitness was echoed by fast bowler Naseem Shah, who noted the gratification of reuniting after the HBL Pakistan Super League and the importance of reaching peak condition.

“After some time apart due to the HBL Pakistan Super League, it was truly gratifying to come together and recharge for the cricket challenges that lie ahead. Undoubtedly, there was a significant emphasis on physical fitness, as every athlete aspires to reach peak condition. In this regard, I believe we've successfully met our objectives, and I'll return as a fitter and more adept athlete,” Naseem said.

“We wholeheartedly engaged in each drill, occasionally even competing against one another. This not only fostered camaraderie but also reinforced our unity and team spirit,” he added.

Imad Wasim emphasized personal benefits in rehabilitation and strength, while stressing the significance of team bonding for future performances.

“Personally, I benefited tremendously as I was already focused on my rehabilitation and strength. These sessions and drills were markedly different from cricket-related training, but we dedicated extra hours that I'm confident will benefit us all in match situations,” Imad said.

“The time in Kakul was also crucial from a team bonding perspective. I've sensed, and I'm sure other players have too, that it was valuable to be here, spend time together, and grow closer to each other. This closeness will undoubtedly play a significant role in our performances,” he added.

Wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan praised the training's impact on endurance and overall fitness, citing the picturesque location and historical significance of Kakul as motivational factors.

“The rigorous training at higher altitudes has not only pushed us to our limits but has also markedly enhanced our overall fitness and strength. The picturesque location, steeped in history and achievements, served as a massive source of motivation for all of us, inspiring active participation in the drills and prompting us to make the most of this opportunity,” Azam said.

“My primary focus has been on enhancing my endurance, and the instructors have been incredibly supportive in this endeavor. While I understand that this is a gradual process, I feel well-prepared and equipped to assimilate all the learnings from this camp and continue working towards achieving the required standards.

“One of the most valuable aspects of this session has been the fostering of team bonding. We utilised this time to deepen our understanding of each other, drawing significant positive energy from these bonding exercises,” he added.