Former Pakistan cricketer Aamir Sohail has criticised Sarfaraz Ahmed and Co.’s fitness standards after Pakistan’s humiliating 3-0 defeat at home to Sri Lanka in the recently concluded T20I series. Pakistan who came into the series as the No.1 team in T20Is were on the receiving end of Dasun Shanaka’s men. Sri Lanka were without 10 first-team players and yet completed a whitewash over the hosts. Pakistan's lacklustre fielding was one of the key reasons for their defeat.
Aamir Sohail "in Pakistan cricket these days we are concentrating more on fitness and it appears that we are preparing our players less for cricket and more for the Olympics or WWE Wrestling" #Cricket— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) October 11, 2019
Aamir Sohail was one of the pillars behind Pakistan's famous 1992 World Cup victory. Aamir Sohail sported the Pakistan jersey for 18 years across 156 ODIs and 47 Tests. Pakistani Journalist Saj Sadiq quoted Sohail saying, "In Pakistan cricket these days we are concentrating more on fitness and it appears that we are preparing our players less for cricket and more for the Olympics or WWE Wrestling."
Pakistan’s fielding has taken a major slump since their Champions Trophy victory in 2017. Their performances in the field cost them dearly in the series vs Sri Lanka dearly, with Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed himself guilty on a couple of occasions. Sarfaraz was earlier criticized by former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar during the Cricket World Cup in England for his lack of fitness. He was criticised after he and his team were accused of having ‘burgers and pizzas’ ahead of their match against arch-rivals India at Old Trafford, which they lost by a huge margin of 89 runs.
Newly appointed Selector and Head Coach Misbah-ul-Haq took notice of the team’s deteriorating fielding standards. He came out with a strict diet plan to make the players more agile in the field. The former Pakistan captain made sure that players won’t be served biryani or oily red meat meals or sweet dishes. This was Misbah's first assignment in his new role.