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‘Not the priority…’: Hafeez reveals Pak players failed fitness test

Published:

NEW DELHI: Former

Pakistan cricket

director

Muhammad Hafeez

has made startling revelations, alleging that ex-captain

Babar Azam

and former coaches

Mickey Arthur

and

Grant Bradburn

gave low priority to team fitness in the lead-up to the ODI World Cup in India.
Under Babar’s captaincy, Pakistan’s disappointing performance in the World Cup saw them fail to progress to the semifinals, prompting scrutiny of their preparations.

“When I took over as director (in 2023) and we reached Australia, I told the team trainer to give me a report on the players’ fitness standards,” Hafeez disclosed on the ARY sports channel.

“He told me that the former captain (Babar) and head coach (Arthur) had told him six months ago that fitness is not the priority at the moment,” Hafeez revealed, expressing shock at the news.
Hafeez further alleged that fitness tests conducted on the players in Australia yielded concerning results, with some players failing to meet international cricket standards.
According to Hafeez, “The players’ skin fold (body fat level) was one-and-a-half points above the normal limit.”

Former Test captain Azhar Ali supported Hafeez’s claims, recalling the rigorous fitness standards enforced during the Champions Trophy in England in 2017.
Former head coach Arthur, who led Pakistan to victory in the Champions Trophy, has yet to respond to these allegations.
Hafeez’s revelations raise questions about the management’s approach to player fitness and performance management, highlighting potential internal issues within the Pakistan cricket setup.

Babar Azam resigns as Pakistan captain amidst poor World Cup show

(With inputs from PTI)

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