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Inzamam and I are on the same page: Mickey Arthur

Arthur has come out with a statement that the Pakistan team management had different criteria regarding fitness standards

Mickey Arthur
Pakistan’s head coach Mickey Arthur. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Fitness and sport go hand in hand. Compromise on one will inadvertently lead to failure in the other. Cricket is no exception. The cricketers, especially the recent crop of youngsters have set an example and standard for everyone to live up to. However, sometimes there have been cases where a person’s presence in the team has caused more harm than good, due to his lack of fitness.

Fitness standards the same for entire Pakistan management

Recently, Pakistani batsman Umar Akmal was axed from the side and sent back home from England prior to the beginning of the Champions Trophy after he failed to pass a fitness test under the supervision of coach Mickey Arthur. He was earlier, the only player out of 31 who was dropped from the team for the West Indies tour after his fitness was seen as not acceptable to team standards.

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He then made it to the final 15 for the Champions Trophy after clearing a fitness test under Inzamam Ul Haq. However, after landing in England, he again failed a fitness test by Mickey Arthur and was subsequently, sent back home.

Arthur has come out with a statement that the Pakistan team management had different criteria regarding fitness standards. “Inzi and myself are on exactly the same page. In terms of that test, I’m not sure how that happened. We were always going to test the guys here so every guy who is now here is fine.”

“Inzi has bought into exactly what we want to do so there’s no disconnect between us at all, we are on the same page. It was incredibly disappointing with Umar Akmal because he didn’t tour West Indies for the same reason. I would have thought in that month that he would have done something.”

“He’s just got to get out there and do it. All the players know what the standards are and they need to do it because it’s a culture we are trying to develop. It doesn’t happen overnight. The standards are going to go up and up. There has to be that culture of hard work, commitment and dedication because that shows us players really want to play,”Arthur told ESPNcricinfo.

Inzamam also added that the fitness levels demanded were not of impossible standards and Akmal failed to perform even at the expected average level. He also said regardless of the player and his performance, fitness is one thing which could not be compromised and a decision was taken, which wasn’t easy. Pakistan play their last match in their group stage against Sri Lanka in a must-win encounter.

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