Pakistan cricketers not happy with this month's fitness trial

Karachi: Senior members of the Pakistan cricket team are not happy with a decision of the selectors to hold fitness trials on December 27 and 28th for the centrally-contracted players ahead of next year's World Cup.

A reliable source in the board told PTI that most of the players were complaining of fatigue after spending nearly three months in the United Arab Emirates playing against Australia and New Zealand and also in domestic cricket.

"The players feel the fitness tests timing is not right as they are all match fit and want to rest before the World Cup," he said.

"Plus the players have pointed out that since the board is holding a Pentangular one-day tournament in Multan from December 31st and all the leading players have been asked to represent their provinces the fitness of the players would be tested out in the event," the source stated.

The PCB while giving out the central contracts this year had made it clear that all contracted players will have to appear for fitness tests every four months and those players not coming up to the required fitness standards set by the selectors will have a percentage of their annual retainers docked.

This happened before the team left for the UAE when some players were docked percentage of their contract salaries including senior players like Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal for not meeting required fitness standards.

A PCB official confirmed that Pakistan's Test and one-day captain, Misbah-ul-Haq would not take part in the Pentangular Cup as he is still recovering from a hamstring problem which kept him out of the last three one-dayers against New Zealand.

"Misbah has a grade two hamstring injury and he has been advised rest and recovery for four to six weeks so we are not pushing him at all as we want him fully fit for the World Cup," the official said.

He said some other players of the national team including Bilawal Bhatti, Junaid Khan, Ehsan Adil, Umar Gul, Sohaib Maqsood, Muhammad Hafeez also won't appear in the Pentangular Cup as they had fitness problems.

PCB said the selectors will announce the final World Cup squad on January 7 after the Pentangular Cup.

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