Question marks remain over three players’ fitness level

The result of the fitness tests will be released in a few days

Question marks remain over three players’ fitness level PHOTO: AFP

The fitness of middle-order batsman Haris Sohail, all-rounder Imad Wasim and leg-spinner Yasir Shah has come under the scanner, after they failed to reach the required standard on first day of the fitness tests at National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

According to sources, the trio showed only slight improvement on day two of the fitness tests. However, whether they were able to reach the required level will only be clear after the final report by strength and conditioning coach of the Pakistan national men’s team Yasir Malik is released.

A representative of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that the result of the fitness tests will be made public in a few days.

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On the other hand, former captain and wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed has shown massive progress in his fitness since he was dropped from the national team.

Top-order batsmen Abid Ali, Shan Masood and Babar Azam also performed extremely well in the opening day workout. There was also considerable improvement in the fitness levels of Imamul Haq, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Abbas.

Only 10 centrally contracted players took part in the two-day fitness tests which came to an end on Tuesday.

Test captain Azhar Ali, middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq and wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan were absent due to viral infection.

Left-arm pacer Usman Shinwari is still recovering from the typhoid he contracted during the recently-concluded home Test series against Sri Lanka.

Fast-bowler Hasan Ali (fractured ribs) and opener Fakhar Zaman (back problem) are also recovering from their respective injuries and will only undergo fitness tests after getting clearance from the medical staff.

Pacers Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir along with leg-spinner Shadab Khan, are occupied with their commitments in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), and will undergo the tests on January 20 and 21.

Last week, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that a player failing to meet the minimum fitness requirements will be fined 15 per cent of his monthly retainer, which will remain effective until such time he achieves the minimum fitness standards. Player failing consecutive tests will risk the chances of retaining his central contract category and may face demotion.