Get leaner: Raja, Akhtar fat-shame Sharjeel Khan

Former Pakistan cricketers were not impressed with left-hand opener’s fitness

Get leaner: Raja, Akhtar fat-shame Sharjeel Khan PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Former Pakistan cricketers Shoaib Akhtar and Ramiz Raja are not impressed with Karachi Kings opener Sharjeel Khan’s fitness and have advised him to get leaner in order improve his overall game.

Sharjeel smashed a sizzling 74 not out from 59 balls, studded with five fours and five sixes, to orchestrate a commanding 10-wicket win for Karachi Kings over arch-rivals Lahore Qalandars at Karachi’s National Stadium on Thursday.

While speaking in a Youtube video, Akhtar was happy to see Sharjeel among runs despite the opener getting several chances in his innings.

“Even though Sharjeel scored fifty, but he was also dropped thrice. He has so much talent, but he needs to lose his belly fat and get fit,” Akhtar said. “He had around six months from the time he got selected for PSL [to get fit]. He has so much time which he needs to utilize to get lean and ready for fielding.”

“Plus, he needs to mark his fielders while batting and play shots within his strong zone. Once he does that, there is not a bigger batsman than him in Pakistan. It was good to see him among the runs again,” he added.

Ramiz also criticised the left-hander’s running which left his partner at the other end frustrated.

“Sharjeel needs to improve his fitness. He still looks very fat and unfit. His running between the wickets is almost zero. Babar Azam looked frustrated at various times with Sharjeel’s running,” Ramiz said. “He needs to understand that he can’t rely on just fours and sixes. His batting needs rhythm which will come through taking singles, so he needs to work a lot on his fitness.”

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Akhtar also praised Kings’ batsman Babar Azam for his brilliant unbeaten 46-ball 69, and claimed that Peshawar Zalmi’s rookie batsman Haider Ali will soon be following in Pakistan Twenty20 International (T20I) captain’s footsteps.

“When you will bowl to Babar Azam on such an easy batting wicket, then you will have to bear the consequences. Babar Azam is one of the greatest finds of Pakistan,” he said. “Don’t forget that Haider Ali is also coming at par with Babar Azam. Haider Ali is from Rawalpindi and people from Rawalpindi are not normal but extraordinary. You will get to know that Haider Ali is at par with Babar Azam or maybe even better than him, but that is something time will tell you.”