Saturday Oct 12, 2019
Former Pakistan captain Aamer Sohail has taken aim at the national team bowlers’ newfound obsession with fitness, which he believes is overshadowing their real job: bowling.
Fitness has been a major headache for all Pakistani teams since times immemorial, which is why the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made it a priority in recent years.
Poor fitness is one of the reasons why talents such as Umar Akmal were kept out of the side for several years, whereas the board has also incorporated modern methods such as Yo-Yo tests to gauge the fitness levels of the team members.
Sohail, who opened the innings for Pakistan alongside fellow leftie Saeed Anwar all through the 90s, believes that the pacers nowadays are so fixated on fitness, it almost feels like as if they are being prepared for WWE rather than cricket.
“It seems that we are worried less about bowling tactics and more about fitness for our bowlers. The fact is that we do not have the expertise to work on players’ techniques and this is why we are concentrating more on fitness and so it appears that we are preparing our players less for cricket and more for the Olympics or WWE Wrestling,” Sohail wrote in his blog for PakPassion.
Sohail also criticised head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq, pointing out what he said were multiple gaffes in his handling of Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad’s comebacks.
He said that Misbah’s biggest mistake was to pick the beleaguered duo in T20Is where pressure is high and time is of the essence. He further said that when the decision to select the pair had been taken, they should have been given a third match as well, even though they had failed the first two times.
The former opening batsman also questioned why Misbah did not do anything to improve legspinner Shadab Khan whose struggles had been evident since the World Cup.
He said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made “a blunder” by handing dual roles to a rookie trainer such as Misbah.