‘Do you think we are crazy?’ – Kamran Akmal comes down hard on Mickey Arthur for ‘fitness tests’ culture
Akmal also put forth examples of a few cricketers, who weren’t known for their fitness, but won Pakistan matches.
Updated - Jan 21, 2020 12:50 pm
Kamran Akmal, the Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman, has lashed out at former national coach Mickey Arthur for bringing in the culture of fitness tests. Akmal, who hasn’t donned the national colours since April 2017, stated that it was Arthur, who started setting fitness as a criterion for picking and dropping players. He didn’t mince any words in saying that Pakistan cricket is on a decline.
Akmal said that cricketers like Abid Ali, who shone for Pakistan in ODIs and Tests in recent times, has had to face embarrassment for their fitness. Abid recently became the first male cricketer to score a century, both on his ODI and Test debut against Australia and Sri Lanka respectively. Akmal urged the team management to put more emphasis on the players’ skills than fitness.
Abid Ali’s confidence is being brought down: Kamran Akmal
“How many fitness tests did Younis bhai and Misbah bhai give? It was Mickey Arthur who came here and started this problem of fitness tests. This policy won’t make players focus on fitness and because of these policies, our cricket is going down,” Akmal was quoted as saying in Pak Passion.
“The culture has become like this, Abid Ali who made hundreds is hiding his face due to his test results. His confidence is being brought down. We all played domestic cricket this season and we played all matches without getting tired. This is completely wrong, focus on matches and skill and then fitness will come,” he mentioned.
Akmal also put forth examples of Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Yousuf, who weren’t known for their fitness, but won Pakistan matches. “The examples are all in front of us. Shoaib Akhtar, Inzi bhai, Yousuf bhai, they would be hiding in the field. Inzi bhai was a great slip catcher. Shoaib bhai would only bowl, he won you matches. Do you think we are crazy? They are making cricketers go crazy now,” Akmal added.
Akmal recently was a part of the Central Punjab team that won the Quaid-a-Azam first-class championship. In the tournament, Kamran was the second highest run-scorer of the tournament with 906 runs at an average of 60.40 with three centuries and as many fifties. Though he has been in riveting form, at the age of 38, chances of him making a comeback look grim.