LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has started online fitness tests for its centrally contracted players as the country remains under lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic,
The 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 PCB went ahead with the online tests despite batsman Sohaib Maqsood suffering a leg injury during a similar exercise last week. The board also started taking fitness tests of its contracted domestic players last week.
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. A PCB official said Yasir is in touch with the players through internet and video streaming and is also supervising their fitness tests individually.
The tests of provincially contracted players are being taken by their respective team trainers. These tests are part of the player’s central contract and in the first week of June, players will have to give the fitness test again.
Misbah had already emphasised that players need to remain in top physical shape and be ready for challenges whenever intentional cricket resumes after the pandemic.
Pakistan’s next assignment is to the Netherlands, Ireland and England for T20, ODIs and Tests which is scheduled to start from early July but uncertainty looms over these series as the deadly disease showing no signs of relenting.
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 expressed willingness to support the ECB in every possible way on the scheduling of the tour which ends in early September.
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