Pakistan’s flamboyant all-rounder, Shahid Afridi along with 11 other cricketers have been penalised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for failing fitness evaluation tests.
Besides Afridi, spinners, Abdul Rehman and Reza Hasan and batsman, Umar Akmal have been penalised 25 percent of their monthly central contract salaries for four months.
Zulfiqar Babar, Sohaib Maqsood, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Muhammad Irfan, Nasir Jamshed, Sharjeel Khan were also among players who failed to reach required fitness standards.
“The PCB is very serious about players meeting required fitness standards. Besides penalising players we have also rewarded some players with incentive raises in their monthly salaries or retainers for improving upon given fitness standards,” a PCB official said.
The players who will get incentive payments include national team captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, Bilawal Bhutto, Shaan Masood, Umar Amin and Ahmed Shehzad.
While Masood and Amin have been given incentive raise of 17.5 percent in their monthly salaries for four months the rest of the players will get a 10 percent increase.
“The Board held fitness evaluation tests from September 6 to 8 in Lahore in which some 28 players were invited. The decisions have been taken based on results of those tests,” media manager, Agha Akbar said.
The board decided to begin a policy of penalising and rewarding players for fitness tests by first holding a month long fitness camp in Lahore in June.
At conclusion of the camp, the players were all given individual fitness charts and told to either maintain or improve targets laid out in their reports.
“Masood, Amin, Shehzad, Misbah and Bilawal all improved upon their given targets but those penalised didn’t meet the targets given to them,” he added.
The PCB has recently hired a foreign fielding coach and trainer and has also tried to professionalize its staff of trainers and phyios at the national cricket academy in Lahore.