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Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has insisted that there will be no compromise on fitness of the players in the team as it is key to success in modern day cricket. The coach also said that Pakistan will be attending a fitness boot camp at the Kakul military academy shortly after the team returns to Pakistan after the Champions trophy.
“No matter what anyone says I will not compromise on fitness. Because fitness is the primary key to success in modern day cricket,” Arthur told a Pakistani newspaper in Cardiff. “The camp will start after the Eid holidays and I have already spoken to the chief selector, Inzamam-ul-Haq, and cricket board about it,” he said.
There were reports that Arthur and Inzamam are in middle of a tussle with issues relating to the Pakistan team but the former South Africa and Australian coach denied the reports.
“That is not correct. Myself and Inzi are on the same page and as far as fitness is concerned he is also very much insistent that any player who is in the team has to meet our required standards of fitness,” he said. “Last year also we had a camp before going to England and it was hugely beneficial for us,” he said.
Arthur asked everyone to be patient with the team. He said that a protocol was in place for every players and the results will soon follow.
“We just need to be a little patient but already a clear message has been given out to the players on fitness matters. I have made it clear and set a protocol that any player who joins the team has to immediately undergo a fitness test and clear it to be part of the team,” Arthur added.
Talking about the Champions Trophy, Inzamam said that it was a great achievement for Pakistan to reach the semi-final of the tournament after suffering a loss to India in the first match.
“What matters is that our players had the ability to sustain pressure and show the character to beat South Africa and Sri Lanka after the heavy loss to India in the first match,” he said. “Big teams like Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand are out before the knockout stage. It just shows how close one-day cricket has become these days.”
Pakistan face England in the first semi-final on Wednesday and Inzamam thinks that the team has the ability to beat England but need to take the catches. “A top team like England will not allow us to get away with mistakes or dropped catches.”