Centrally contracted players will attend two-day rigorous testing at the National Cricket Academy on January 6 and 7. Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir have been excused from the test owing to their commitments in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League and they will instead fulfil the requirement on January 20 and 21.
Yasir Malik, who is the strength and conditioning coach of the Pakistan men's national team, will supervise the tests that entail five major parts: fat analysis, strength, endurance, speed endurance and cross fit. These sections carry equal importance while determining the overall fitness of a player.
A player that does not pass the test and meets the minimum threshold will be imposed with 15 per cent fine of his monthly retainer which will remain effective until he meets the minimum fitness requirement. In an event of not making substantial improvement in fitness, a player will risk the chance of demotion and ultimately it could lead to contract loss.
Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) international cricket director emphasised on the importance of maintaining immaculate fitness and revealed board's new policy of imposing penalties on players if found slacking and failing to meet the set criteria.
Zakir Khan, PCB – Director, International Cricket, said: “There has always been an emphasis on the monitoring of players’ fitness levels. This time we have decided to enforce penalties, which is in accordance with the contracts, as part of our objective to make the players more accountable and responsible for maintaining high fitness standards throughout the year, which is one of the basic requirements any professional athlete.
“All the players were informed last month of the PCB’s expectations and potential sanctions in the scenario of failures.
Zakir announced that these tests will also be carried out in the six cricket association teams. The coaches and trainers are shouldered with the duty of holding the fitness tests and failing to do so could put participation in the upcoming Pakistan One-Day Cup in jeopardy.
“These fitness tests will not be limited to the centrally contracted players but will trickle down to the six Cricket Association teams. Their tests will be conducted by their respective coaches and trainers as per their own schedules and players failing to pass fitness tests will jeopardise their chances of featuring in the Pakistan Cup One-Day Tournament to be held from 25 March to 19 April.”
Category A – Babar Azam (Central Punjab), Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh) and Yasir Shah (Balochistan)
Category B – Asad Shafiq (Sindh), Azhar Ali (Central Punjab), Haris Sohail (Balochistan), Imam-ul-Haq (Balochistan), Mohammad Abbas (Southern Punjab), Shadab Khan (Northern), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Northern)
Category C – Abid Ali (Sindh), Hasan Ali (Central Punjab), Fakhar Zaman (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Imad Wasim (Northern), Mohammad Amir (Northern), Mohammad Rizwan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Shan Masood (Southern Punjab) and Usman Shinwari (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Wahab Riaz (Southern Punjab)