Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has made it clear that he and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq see eye to eye when it comes to the fitness standards of the national team.
Arthur’s comments come after batsman Umar Akmal was axed from Pakistan’s Champions Trophy squad after failing two fitness tests in two days in England.
Prior to travelling to England, Akmal passed a fitness test that was overseen by Inzamam at the National Cricket Academy.
Speaking about the issue, Arthur said: “Inzi and myself are on exactly the same page. In terms of that test, I’m not sure how that happened. We were always going to test the guys here so every guy who is now here is fine. Inzi has bought into exactly what we want to do so there’s no disconnect between us at all, we are on the same page.”
Arthur admitted that he was disappointed with Akmal, especially as he had been given a chance to feature in a major ICC event after being snubbed for Pakistan’s recent tour of the West Indies due to his fitness.
“It was incredibly disappointing with Umar Akmal because he didn’t tour West Indies for the same reason,” he said. “I would have thought in that month that he would have done something.
“He’s just got to get out there and do it. All the players know what the standards are and they need to do it because it’s a culture we are trying to develop. It doesn’t happen overnight. The standards are going to go up and up. There has to be that culture of hard work, commitment and dedication because that shows us players really want to play.”
When questioned about Pakistan’s fitness levels during the Champions Trophy, Arthur said: “It’s one of the things we work tirelessly on and we are going in the right direction.”
Pakistan will take on Sri Lanka on Monday, but it will be a must-win for both teams as the winner will progress to the semi-finals while the loser will be eliminated.