Pakistan’s Test skipper Azhar Ali says he doesn’t know how the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will conduct the scheduled online fitness test of its players.
“The players come up with fitness exercise challenges because there are different kinds of tests that will be held online,” Azhar said while interacting with the media via a teleconference. “I don’t know how that will work out. The PCB staff, whether it be the fitness trainers or the IT staff, will be working on it.”
Azhar spoke in favour of the fitness challenge, saying that they will motivate players. “More of such activities will be beneficial for them.”
The Test captain went on to say that the players are trying to stay as fit as possible while staying indoors as part of the safety measures against the coronavirus pandemic. He urged the players to stay mentally and physically fit so that they are ready to perform when cricket returns.
He went on to say that cricketing activities can take place without crowds if the authorities guarantee the players’ safety.
Azhar feared that financial losses will take their toll due to the coronavirus. “As far as pay cuts are concerned, the whole world is going through this critical phase and the PCB has stated that everything will be done according to the conditions in the contract till June. So, once the situation comes under review with no cricketing activity taking place, I think heavy financial losses will take place.”
Azhar added that he was satisfied with the way the team has come together. “The players are getting settled and are getting to understand their roles in the side.”
He also feels the absence of senior pacers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz forced ne w bowlers to step up. “I am happy with the way Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas have carried the fast-bowling unit forward in Tests. Maybe, Shaheen would not have played the leading role in the presence of Amir and Wahab and may not have performed with the same mentality. The players have grabbed the opportunity in front of them and injured players such as Hasan Ali are also returning. So we have a lot of bowlers to choose from.