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We can’t compromise on the fitness of the players: Afghanistan board CEO

16 Jun 2018 CricTracker

Mohammad Shahzad of Afghanistan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Afghanistan made their Test debut against India, the outcome wasn’t important the initiation of their journey in the longest form of the game was. They were up against a ruthless side, the one that seldom allows the best of oppositions a breathing space at home. Asghar Stanikzai’s team lost the match in two days, by an innings and 262 runs but the fact that they played their first Test and against India has a higher value.

It proved to be a huge and rather steep learning curve for the Afghan boys. Ajinkya Rahane’s men posted a huge first innings total batting for more than a day and then bowled the young Afghanistan team out twice in a day to create history in the historic game. With this game, they would’ve realized the aspects they need to work on, immediately and in the long run. One that’s very prominent is their fitness standards.

It was evident that they didn’t match the Indians even with their ground fielding and the running between the wickets was poor as well. Their opener Mohammad Shahzad who is known for his big hitting abilities was run out in the first innings and that set the tone for the rest of the game. Though he appears to be agile on the field is clearly overweight and being a star player in the team needs to set the benchmark for the young players looking up to them.

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No compromise on fitness

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) chief executive Shafiq Stnikzai in a chat with Sportstarlive admitted that it is time the board makes harsh decisions for the betterment of their cricket. He no longer wants to compromise on the fitness of the players.

“One thing that I learnt as an administrator is the fact that we can’t compromise on the fitness of the players. We need to be precise on it and take very harsh decisions on players. It would not be justifiable to question the performance of the [batsmen] on this Test,” Stanikzai said.

“We have done well in the bowling department, which was expected. There, however, is a huge question mark on the fitness level,” he added.

The CEO is upset with the fitness levels of the team and clearly stated that there won’t be any compromise now on. He is looking for immediate ways to solve the issue and seal this aspect of their game.

“Exactly. There won’t be any compromise on the fitness. I am a bit upset on the team’s fitness level, to be honest. It has not been up to the mark. It is good that I have spent these two days watching these boys from close. They were in India for the last two months, though Ramadan month came in between. But even then, that’s something we need to think and find a solution,” Stanikzai was quoted by Sportstar.

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