Player fitness tests

"When we launched the fitness policy for the Pakistan side, we increased the standards of our previous policy version"

"We used to set standards based upon the strengths of each player but this time around, we have set standards for our team based upon those used by the top 3-4 international teams"

"In previous times, we used to have fitness tests twice a year but this time we have held in 2 months so that the players can understand the new policy as soon as possible"

"Also we want the players to understand that this training is not off-season activity but its an integral part of the playing season as well"

"You may note from current results that players are lagging in fitness in certain tests but overall if we compare with results of previous tests, you will see a very good improvement"

"Our players are much ahead now of what we considered as a passing level before in the tests"

"You may think that some players are behind in terms of levels of fitness in these tests but almost all have improved since the last ones in terms of strength, endurance"


4-5 Day Tests issue

"Firstly, there is no clarity on how we will proceed on this issue so we dont know how the game will change if its a 4-Day Test, will there still be 90 overs per day? Maybe 110 overs will be played to compensate for the loss of the 5th day"

"If we look at the conditions in Pakistan, you will note that we struggle to play 90 overs in a day as our Test season takes place in winters when daylight hours are shorter as is"

"So already we end up short by 10-15 overs in a day and so if we have 4-Day Test with 360 overs in total, then we could end up with 3.5 days due to light issues"

"This will encourage teams to think negatively; so any side which is not in a good position in the game will look to draw the match"

"The ratio of results to drawn games will also reduce a lot, and that will lead to loss of interest by the audience as they want to see results"

"In a 5-Day game, you will still have enough time for a result in case there is rain or any other disruption"

"Its a different issue in other countries where you can play 4-Day games by bowling the same number of overs that you would bowl in a 5-Day game"

"In my view, 5-Day cricket is needed and should be the case for a Test match in order to preserve the beauty of Test cricket and to get good results"

"The other important point is that if you are going to compress the workload meant for 5 days into 4 days then it will make life difficult for players; This is because most team of 11 will play with 4 or 5 bowlers, and the workload on the fast-bowlers will increase a lot; Instead of bowling a maximum of around 20 overs per day in a 5-Day game, they will now end up bowling more overs in a 4-Day game which will lead to increase in fitness risk; In addition a 140-145KpH bowler's pace will be compromised if he has to bowl 25 overs instead of 17-18/day"

"Audiences will not enjoy this as they would like to be thrilled by the pacy bowling of the likes of Mitch Starc, Pat Cummins or Naseem Shah or Shaheen Shah Afridi; They would like to see these bowlers bowling at full throttle and to enjoy that spell, instead of watching players just finishing up their required overs for the sake of it"

"The other point is that these bowlers can get injured and their careers can be effected and they may not be able to play for that long in their careers"

"In my personal view, 5-Day Tests allow for good player safety, you get maximum possible results, the audiences also enjoy the games"

"The wear and tear on a 5-Day pitch is different from that found on a 4-Day pitch; In the subcontinent or even in Australia, the 5th day of the Test has its own beauty and attraction; If you look at the recently concluded 2nd Test between South Africa and England, the result was decided right towards the end of the 5th Day; Even Younis Khan and my last Test in West Indies was decided at the end of the 5th day; The closer you get to the end of the 5th day, the thrill of the game increases so we need to keep all these factors in mind when discussing this issue"