PCB warns players to maintain fitness or receive reduced salaries
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has taken a bold step towards the fitness of its players. On Friday, the board announced that every centrally contracted player would undergo two-day testing to determine their fitness level. However, it also warned that failure to meet fitness requirements would lead to abstract from their salaries. Here are further details on this.
PCB to fine 15% of players' salary for improper fitness
PCB released a statement, stating that failure to meet fitness standards would lead to a deduction of 15% of their salaries. It also added that unable to pass the fitness test consecutively could also lead to their central contracts being discarded or be demoted. The players are to undergo a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) on January 6 and 7.
Emphasis on monitoring of players' fitness levels: PCB Director
Speaking on the issue, PCB Director Zakir Khan said that emphasis on monitoring players' fitness has always been their priority. "This time we have decided to enforce penalties, which is in accordance with the contracts, as part of our objective to make the players more accountable and responsible for maintaining high fitness standards throughout the year," he said.
Fitness tests to also be a part of association cricket
Zakir also said that these fitness tests would not just be restricted to the centrally contracted players, but would also be a part of association cricket. "Their tests will be conducted by their respective coaches and trainers, and players failing to pass fitness tests will jeopardize their chances of featuring in the Pakistan Cup One-Day Tournament to be held from 25 March," he concluded.
Coach Misbah-ul-Haq too prioritized fitness
As PCB prepares to make fitness a priority, it is a strong step taken, especially under the reign of the current team coach, Misbah-ul-Haq. He has made some top changes in Pakistan cricket, including the removal of Sarfaraz Ahmed as the skipper. Also, one of the important changes he brought in was focus on fitness, as he banned players from having oily food.
Pakistan endured a tough outing in 2019
2019 was a tough year for Pakistan. In 41 matches across formats, the side managed to win just 11 and lost 27. Of the three Test series, they managed to win just one (against Lanka at home). In ODIs, they played five series and won only one (against Lanka at home). In T20Is, they played four series and lost all of them.