Fit as a fiddle: Players happy with rigorous training camp
KARACHI: Pakistan’s premier Test batsman Younus Khan has praised the work being done in the ongoing boot camp by army trainers on the team’s probables for the tour of England.
The camp, which started 10 days ago on May 14 in Kakul, has seen most of the players come up short, with only three or four players meeting expectations initially.
The batting trio of Shan Masood, Mohammad Rizwan and Fawad Alam have emerged as the fittest of the lot, while age finally seems to be catching up with Younus and Misbahul Haq, both of whom have slipped down the pecking order during the camp.
However, the players claim to have improved their fitness as a whole in the short while they have been at the camp.
Won’t let down Pakistan Army, says Younus Khan
Younus, who is Pakistan’s highest run-getter in Tests with 9,116 runs in 104 Tests at an average of 53.94, stated that he had reservations to begin with regarding the camp.
“When the camp was announced, I had a lot of worries and queries regarding the camp in Kakul,” said Younus. “This is my third camp here but even then there were doubts in my mind.”
However, the veteran batsman claims he is more than happy with the results so far. “The way everyone has progressed over time is amazing and how the army has helped us is great,” he said. “We were thinking that we will be pushed to the limits and will be asked to do a lot of hard work. And while that did happen, it was done in a really good way.”
The 38-year-old will be key to Pakistan’s chances on a difficult tour of England and feels there is added responsibility on the players now.
The middle-order batsman also wished there could have been more such camps during his younger years. “I am a big fan of this camp now,” he said. “I wish I could have come to train with the army more in my younger days because I could have been in even better shape.”
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Everyone enjoying camp, says Sarfraz
Pakistan’s T20 skipper Sarfraz Ahmad said that the initial two to three days were really tough for everyone but there has been significant improvement in fitness since then.
Sarfraz credited the Pakistan Cricket Board for staging a camp which has enabled players to improve their fitness to a whole new level.
“Everyone is enjoying it now after initially finding the camp tough,” said Sarfraz. “There has been significant improvement in the fitness of the players and whatever we’ve learnt in Kakul, we’ll try to carry it on so that it helps us maintain a high standard in the future.”