Former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram didn’t hold back his frustration after Afghanistan’s eight-wicket victory over Pakistan in the ICC World Cup. In a candid critique, he questioned Pakistan’s fitness levels, especially their fielding performance, and called for regular fitness tests for the players.
Akram was blunt in his assessment, saying, “It was embarrassing today. To reach 280-odd runs while losing just two wickets is a significant setback. Regardless of the pitch conditions, we need to look at the fielding and fitness levels. We’ve been saying for the last three weeks that these players haven’t undergone a fitness test in the last two years. If I start naming individuals, their faces will drop. It seems like some of these guys are consuming 8 kilograms of mutton every day. Shouldn’t there be fitness tests?”
He emphasized the importance of specific fitness criteria for players and cited the success during Misbah-ul-Haq’s coaching tenure, where such criteria were enforced. Despite the players’ initial dislike, it produced positive results.
Akram argued that, as professionals representing their country, players should adhere to a certain fitness standard. He pointed out the critical role fitness plays in fielding, an area where Pakistan is falling short.
The former cricket legend also criticized the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for frequent changes in coaching staff and management. He expressed disappointment in the rapid decisions and the resulting instability.