With the country under lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday started online fitness tests for its centrally contracted players. The PCB went ahead with the online tests despite batsman Sohaib Maqsood suffering a leg injury during a similar exercise last week.
A PCB statement said that fitness assessments of Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Muhammad Abbas, Asad Shafiq, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan were conducted on Monday while remaining players will appear for their tests on Tuesday. The board also started taking fitness tests of its contracted domestic players last week, where Maqsood sustained the leg injury.
The PCB said strength and conditioning coach of the national team, Yasir Malik had designed the online tests and was supervising them with head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq. “Yasir is in touch with the players through internet and video streaming and is also supervising their fitness tests individually,” a PCB official said.
Misbah had already emphasised that players need to remain in top physical shape and be ready for challenges whenever intentional cricket resumes post the pandemic. Pakistan’s next assignment is tours to Holland, Ireland and England for T20, ODIs and Tests which is scheduled to start from early July but uncertainty looms large over these series with the deadly disease showing no signs of relenting across the globe. The England and Wales Cricket Board has apparently set May 15 deadline to decide whether Pakistan’s tour can materialise.
PCB chairman Ehsan Mani has said that they would be willing to support the ECB in every possible way on the scheduling of the tour which ends in early September.