PCB’s contracted players to get fitness-linked payment

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Pakistan’s centrally-contracted players will have to meet the fitness standards set by the team management or else lose 15 percent of their monthly salary, the country’s cricket board (PCB) warned on Friday.

The directive came after new head coach Misbah-ul-Haq had termed that top-level fitness is paramount for national team players as lack of it has been the reason for team’s steady decline.

The PCB has said that a player will be subjected to a 15 per cent deduction from his monthly retainer fees in case he fails to meet the minimum fitness requirements while a “consistent defaulter” will risk a chance of getting relegated to a lower grade.

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“A player failing to meet the minimum fitness requirements will be fined 15 percent of his monthly retainer, which will remain effective until such time he achieves the minimum fitness standards,” a PCB statement read. “Player failing consecutive tests will risk the chances of retaining his central contract category and may face demotion,” it added

The test will cover five major areas, namely fat analysis, strength, endurance, speed endurance and cross-fit, and will carry equal weightage.

“There has always been an emphasis on the monitoring of players’ fitness levels,” PCB Director Cricket – International, Zakir Khan said. “This time we have decided to enforce penalties, which is in accordance with the contracts, as part of our objective to make the players more accountable and responsible for maintaining high fitness standards throughout the year. “All the players were informed last month of the PCB’s expectations and potential sanctions in the scenario of failures,” he added.

Khan further said that domestic players will also have to undergo the tests.

“These fitness tests will not be limited to the centrally contracted players, but will trickle down to the six Cricket Association teams,” he said. “Their tests will be conducted by their respective coaches and trainers as per their own schedules and players failing to pass fitness tests will jeopardise their chances of featuring in the Pakistan Cup One-Day Tournament to be held from March 25 to April 19.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s centrally contracted players, including Babar Azam, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shaheen Afridi will undergo fitness tests here on January 6 and 7.

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The two-day testing will be held under the tutelage of Pakistan cricket team’s strength and conditioning coach Yasir Malik at the National Cricket Academy here.

“All the available centrally contracted players will attend the two-day testing, which is aligned to their contracts,” the PCB said. “Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir and Shadab Khan, who will be occupied with their commitments in the Bangladesh Premier League, will undergo the tests on January 20 and 21,” it further added.

Centrally contracted players:

Category A Babar Azam, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah

Category B Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Abbas, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi

Category C Abid Ali, Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir , Mohammad Rizwan , Shan Masood, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz.

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