Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Pakistan captain Babar Azam admitted that the team’s fitness needs “proper attention in the future”, but stopped short of naming and shaming any players in particular.
The 28-year-old’s comments come after his side endured a disappointing home season where they lost to both England and New Zealand.
Pakistan were whitewashed 3-0 in their three-Test series against New Zealand, while both their Tests against New Zealand finished as a draw. They then played three ODIs against the Black Caps, but lost 2-1.
Azam believes one of the reasons behind the team’s lacklustre performance can be attributed to poor fitness levels.
“Fitness plays a huge role – you cannot play all formats until you are completely fit,” he was quoted as saying by Cricwick. “I cannot say I blame anyone for it, but this needs proper attention in the future.”
With Pakistan having failed to win a single series on home soil, it has resulted in speculation that Azam may lose the captaincy in one or more formats. While nothing has been finalised, it should be noted that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is reportedly keen to adopt a split captaincy model.
In the meantime, however, Azam will lead the Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which will take place from February 13 to March 19 in Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi.
The Zalmi will kick off their campaign against the Karachi Kings, which is the team Azam previously represented, on February 14.
Peshawar Zalmi Squad for PSL 8: Babar Azam, Rovman Powell, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka), Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Sherfane Rutherford, Wahab Riaz, Arshad Iqbal, Danish Aziz, Mohammad Haris, Aamer Jamal, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Saim Ayub, Salman Irshad, Usman Qadir, Haseebullah Khan, Sufyan Muqeem, James Neesham, Khurram Shahzad, Haris Sohail and Richard Gleeson