Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal has accused former head coach Mickey Arthur of ruining Pakistan cricket by picking and dropping players based on the results of their fitness tests.
Akmal noted that back in the day, many of Pakistan’s prominent players like Shoaib Akhtar, Inzamam-ul-Haq and current head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq would not have been in the team if fitness was a large part of the selection criteria.
“How many fitness tests did Younis bhai and Misbah bhai give? It was Mickey Arthur who came here and started this problem of fitness tests. This policy won’t make players focus on fitness and because of these policies, our cricket is going down,” Akmal told Aap News as quoted by PakPassion.
“The culture has become like this, Abid Ali who made hundreds is hiding his face due to his test results. His confidence is being brought down. We all played domestic cricket this season and we played all matches without getting tired. This is completely wrong, focus on matches and skill and then fitness will come.
“I am happy that Imad Wasim has been selected, his criteria isn’t fitness, his criteria is that he does well for the team. If fitness was the criteria for him, he would never be in the team. Yasir Shah got 200 wickets and is bowling 40 overs, he didn’t pass [the fitness] tests. But he is doing 40 overs and fielding well. Fitness is a natural thing.
“The examples are all in front of us. Shoaib Akhtar, Inzi bhai, Yousuf bhai, they would be hiding in the field. Inzi bhai was a great slip catcher. Shoaib bhai would only bowl, he won you matches. Do you think we are crazy? They are making cricketers go crazy now.
“Abid Ali has come into the team so late, just let him play now and let him enjoy. What are you making him focus on?
“Pakistan need to bring a trainer who can make the players fit, not unfit like Hasan Ali [who has been] out for months. We are also hearing things about Fakhar and Rizwan, why aren’t these players gaining fitness?”