Excessive workload leaves Pakistan players at risk

According to details the current year has been the most active for the cricketers

Excessive workload leaves Pakistan players at risk PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan players are feeling the pressure of their workload but their interest in T20 leagues, during off-time, can lead to severe injuries and fitness concerns.

The two leagues per year policy employed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is no longer functional, although the board has stated that it is still in place.

According to details the current year has been the most active for Pakistan players. After the last two Tests in South Africa along with five one-day internationals (ODIs) and three T20I matches, the Pakistan team played five ODIs against Australia.

Pakistan then had to compete in four ODI’s against England before the World Cup along with a solitary T20I. The team than went on to feature in eight ODIs in the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.

Ideally the players should have rested before the Test series against Sri Lanka which is scheduled in October. However they have their sights set on earning money through different leagues.

Currently players such as pacer Mohammad Amir, batsmen Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf are busy playing in T20 events in England.

The PCB has granted No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to players such as veteran all-rounders Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez, pacer Wahab Riaz, and leg-spinner Shadab Khan to feature in the Global T20 Canada League, which will be played at the end of the current month.

All these players are part of the central contracts and have been plagued by injuries or health related issues in the recent past.

The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) which was played in January and February featured Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez along with other players from Pakistan.

Most of the players of Pakistan participated in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) as well. This Friday’s draft of the Euro T20 Slam featured players such as Azam and Zaman along with pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali.

This year the Pakistan cricket team is expected to play a two-part series with Sri Lanka which includes Test matches and limited overs cricket. Pakistan is also scheduled to play a series against Australia. The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is also scheduled for 2019 and will feature many Pakistan players.

This workload can result in a serious risk of injuries. All these issues highlight the fact that the policy of playing two other leagues apart from the PSL is now defunct.

PCB representatives however disagree with this sentiment. They stated that the policy of participating in only two leagues is still active. If a player sends a request to play more than these, his case will be reviewed in an individual capacity.

It should be noted that the PCB does not include the England events in the list of leagues.