14 centrally contracted players and 6 additional cricketers have been invited to partake in the pre-season camp which will be presided over by Misbah-ul-Haq. © Getty
Former Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq has been named “camp commandant” at a forthcoming 17-day conditioning camp for Pakistan’s cricketers. Misbah will preside over and craft, with the help of the NCA coaching staff, a physically strenuous camp aimed at conditioning the country’s A-list cricketers ahead of their demanding cricket season.
Fourteen centrally contracted players and six additional cricketers have been invited to partake in the pre-season camp which will commence at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore on August 19. After two days of fitness testing, the 17-days of conditional training will begin on August 22 and run until September 7.
“Misbah ul Haq, who has been Pakistan’s most successful captain, understands the arduous demands of the format in this day and age. With the advent of the World Test Championship, the PCB wants Pakistan to turn up with their best red ball game when they face Sri Lanka in the two-match Test series at home,” said Zakir Khan, PCB Director of International Cricket.
“Ahead of the Sri Lanka series, these players will be a part of the initial rounds of what will be a highly competitive Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. So, this camp will further benefit them in gearing up for an exciting cricketing season.”
Azhar Ali, who will finish his stint with Somerset, is available for the full duration of the camp but five others including Babar Azam (Somerset), Fakhar Zaman (Glamorgan), Imad Wasim (Nottinghamshire), Mohammad Abbas (Leicestershire) and Mohammad Amir (Essex) have been exempted to allow them to fulfill their contractual commitments with the English county sides. These five, however, have been asked return to Pakistan in time to participate in the opening round matches of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy to be played from September 12.
Fitness emerged as an important parameter to ascertain progress in international cricket for Pakistan. In 2016, then captain Misbah was at the forefront of an army-style boot camp at the Kakul Military Academy in Abbottabad to prepare for the tour of England. Misbah and his Test squad even paid homage to the camp by breaking into an impromptu set of push-ups following their Test victory at Lord’s.
Contracted players at the camp:Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah
Non-Contracted players at the camp: Asif Ali, Bilal Asif, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mir Hamza, Rahat Ali and Zafar Gohar