The scientific cricketer January 24, 2007

Pakistan's medical failure

177

"No doctor is better than three," according to a German proverb. The PCB has one at its head, another running its media and communications, and several more on its preposterous medical board of inquiry, which by my calculation is some way beyond three and a firm indication that the health of Pakistan's cricketers must be in a bad way--and it is.

My hypothesis is that Pakistan has the biggest injury problem in international cricket, and I'm sure one of the clever souls who visit this blog will be able to produce the evidence. That's before we begin a debate on the players' education about performance-enhancing drugs and the shambolic monitoring procedure of last year (let's not restart that particular debate here, you can comment on it elsewhere).

The ongoing saga of injuries to Pakistan's players is diabolocial. It seems few people know who is fit and who isn't. Fewer people know why anybody might be unfit. And nobody seems to know how to make anybody who is unfit fit again.

Sports science is a growing medical specialty. More research is being done. More evidence is available. Our shrinking and interconnected world allows greater sharing of knowledge and experts. Yet in Pakistan we have a medical board of inquiry that seems unable to prevent, manage, or cure the ailments of any of its prize patients.

The simple question I ask is would a business tolerate such a dismal success rate? Another question I ask is would any of you trust your treatment and your rehabilitation to this bunch of "experts." Inevitably, the PCB will say that it isn't responsible for the irresponsible behaviour of its player patients. The PCB will say that it is doing everything it can, and the medical board of inquiry is testament to that, as is its willingness to send players abroad for diagnosis and treatment. The PCB will say that this situation is a consequence of the modern game.

But I would say that those are excuses. The failure of the PCB's medical management is too persistent and too inexcusable for it to be tolerated any longer. Like any responsible employer, the PCB should seek a second opinion on its processes and its personnel. The present system is clearly not working.

By offering my opinion I am unfortunately adding to the peculiar preponderance of doctors associated with Pakistan cricket. But, then again, if I don't say this who will?

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • tariq on February 15, 2007, 7:48 GMT

    ever since i started contributing on the site rest of the readers probably had gone into hibernation. because they must have lost the motivation and the appetite to write bearing in mind the most abysmal performance of the pakistan cricket team the bunch of nincompoops. well how could the team perform differently than the character of the whole nation and it leaders.

  • tariq on February 9, 2007, 8:06 GMT

    the action replay of the Gibbs in the 2nd odi between PAK and SA is doubtful and seems to be tailored with the help of technology to justify that the ball was going over the stumps and the umpire made the wrong decision by giving Gibbs out, where as the ball hit Gibbs on the back leg on the knee roll of the pads well below the height of the stumps. how could the ball abruptly rise vertically from the point of contact as suggested by the action replay. it gives credence to the statement of Bucknor (umpire) couple of months ago when he had questioned the credibility of action replays and stated that the action replays are deliberately at times changed to suite the reaction of the players, host teams and to malign and question the judgment of the umpire. this got to stop forthwith to maintain the sanctity of the technology help.

  • tariq on February 6, 2007, 11:39 GMT

    no body has the appetite and the moral courage to write on the performance of the jokers currently performing in circus in South Africa in shape of 11 stooges of the BCCP. I told u earlier in my comments that it is all about making money and they are the horses whose reign are controlled from the PM house and the presidency through omni presence of the, coach chief selector and the chairman on such occasions.

  • tariq on January 31, 2007, 8:05 GMT

    i was literally astound to one of the readers comments suggesting the patron in chief of bccp (pervez musharaf) to look in to the affairs of cricket in pakistan. i take the liberty to advise all those who contribute by writing here that all the ills happening in this country is simply because the reign of this country indirectly or directly has been in the hands of man in khakis.than how could some one think of such a stupidity of asking the president of pakistan who unfortunately also happens to be the patron in chief to do some thing good.people generally ask what next under the circumstances i usually reply status quo since that is worse what could happen.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on January 30, 2007, 9:10 GMT

    I just happened to watch Fakhar's programme Bolain Kiya Baat on GEO TV in which he invited Salim Altaf and Waqar Younis. The show is very good and first of its kind, very open and Fakhr means business not just mincing words, its a great effort on part of GEO to help dig out facts. Salim Altaf really was caught on a sticky wicket and clearly had no answers to what ever was asked and in perticular the case of Waqar. He was found trying to defend a lost cause through out the programme. I would like to draw the attention of the Patron In Chief of PCB to please take a note of what is going on in PCB and urge him to bring in some saner people to run this organization, for i believe that the present bunch is rubbish.

  • ashraf on January 30, 2007, 8:51 GMT

    The management sould seriously cosider playing Afridi as an opener, that is where he belongs in a one day game, he might get you a zero 30% times but a 12 from the other openers is not a great lot either.Yet; he is the only one who could set a win up for you. Remember Sri lank winning the World cup with Jayasuriya. None of the openers is good enough, so might very well gamble. Present y one day ventures are not the stories of art in any case.

  • fit ... fit for what on January 28, 2007, 18:30 GMT

    Yes Khan, could be a good team ... oh - and if not all drugged up!

    Although looking at their onfield behaviour today, on drugs is a possibility ... imagine walking up to the umpire and questioning his descision!!! WTF !!!

    Don't think your plot would have worked though, SA may have decided to play their better players instead of resting them, so grass or no grass, doesn't matter.

  • Niaz Khan on January 28, 2007, 7:49 GMT

    Shoab now and then gets unfit and creates some news. He should be more prfoessional instead he is more a "show man". I wonder why Imran Khan supports him although Shoab does not even bother that he being watched the world-over for his spat with Bob Woolmer. He does seem to care.I do not when he would learn? Do you?

  • Khan on January 27, 2007, 22:08 GMT

    Just imagine our team, if all our players are physically fit AND MOST importantly our selectors are mentally fit....

    Just a Thought.

    The team management made a BIG mistake by sending Shoaib Akhter back, they should have created an impression that he will be fit by the third test and will play the third test and in the morning of third test declare that he is still unfit.

    Beleive U me there would have been NO grass on the pitch!!

  • monk on January 27, 2007, 18:13 GMT

    I wonder when the stupid people of this country will begin to sit up and realise what the state of affairs truly is in our country. The malady that we all see in cricket is just a mirror of what happens in every sphere. I just question what we are paying the foreign experts for when every tour, several key players go unfit. If we had paki experts, i would understand, because they are and would be as stupid as the rest of us , but these "foreign" shld be better qualified to know when someone is fit or not!!!. That is not to deny the fact, that our Selection Committee, headed by the erstwhile Wasim Bari (an ass of the first class!) Ehteshamuddin ( the guy who played 3 tests in his overweight career), and Iqbal Qasim (great spinner, but to be on the selection committee?), and these 3 "wise men" have been running the reigns of who plays or not for the past so many years?? and no one has been able to throw them off ???..I have played, and watched cricket now for 40years, and what is happening is only a mirror of what is happening in Pakistan as a whole. As the adage for Democracy goes " To the Fools, by the Fools, for the Fools". Apologies to all our hot head readers, i love Pakistan as much as you do, i just like to call a Spade a Spade

  • tariq on February 15, 2007, 7:48 GMT

    ever since i started contributing on the site rest of the readers probably had gone into hibernation. because they must have lost the motivation and the appetite to write bearing in mind the most abysmal performance of the pakistan cricket team the bunch of nincompoops. well how could the team perform differently than the character of the whole nation and it leaders.

  • tariq on February 9, 2007, 8:06 GMT

    the action replay of the Gibbs in the 2nd odi between PAK and SA is doubtful and seems to be tailored with the help of technology to justify that the ball was going over the stumps and the umpire made the wrong decision by giving Gibbs out, where as the ball hit Gibbs on the back leg on the knee roll of the pads well below the height of the stumps. how could the ball abruptly rise vertically from the point of contact as suggested by the action replay. it gives credence to the statement of Bucknor (umpire) couple of months ago when he had questioned the credibility of action replays and stated that the action replays are deliberately at times changed to suite the reaction of the players, host teams and to malign and question the judgment of the umpire. this got to stop forthwith to maintain the sanctity of the technology help.

  • tariq on February 6, 2007, 11:39 GMT

    no body has the appetite and the moral courage to write on the performance of the jokers currently performing in circus in South Africa in shape of 11 stooges of the BCCP. I told u earlier in my comments that it is all about making money and they are the horses whose reign are controlled from the PM house and the presidency through omni presence of the, coach chief selector and the chairman on such occasions.

  • tariq on January 31, 2007, 8:05 GMT

    i was literally astound to one of the readers comments suggesting the patron in chief of bccp (pervez musharaf) to look in to the affairs of cricket in pakistan. i take the liberty to advise all those who contribute by writing here that all the ills happening in this country is simply because the reign of this country indirectly or directly has been in the hands of man in khakis.than how could some one think of such a stupidity of asking the president of pakistan who unfortunately also happens to be the patron in chief to do some thing good.people generally ask what next under the circumstances i usually reply status quo since that is worse what could happen.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on January 30, 2007, 9:10 GMT

    I just happened to watch Fakhar's programme Bolain Kiya Baat on GEO TV in which he invited Salim Altaf and Waqar Younis. The show is very good and first of its kind, very open and Fakhr means business not just mincing words, its a great effort on part of GEO to help dig out facts. Salim Altaf really was caught on a sticky wicket and clearly had no answers to what ever was asked and in perticular the case of Waqar. He was found trying to defend a lost cause through out the programme. I would like to draw the attention of the Patron In Chief of PCB to please take a note of what is going on in PCB and urge him to bring in some saner people to run this organization, for i believe that the present bunch is rubbish.

  • ashraf on January 30, 2007, 8:51 GMT

    The management sould seriously cosider playing Afridi as an opener, that is where he belongs in a one day game, he might get you a zero 30% times but a 12 from the other openers is not a great lot either.Yet; he is the only one who could set a win up for you. Remember Sri lank winning the World cup with Jayasuriya. None of the openers is good enough, so might very well gamble. Present y one day ventures are not the stories of art in any case.

  • fit ... fit for what on January 28, 2007, 18:30 GMT

    Yes Khan, could be a good team ... oh - and if not all drugged up!

    Although looking at their onfield behaviour today, on drugs is a possibility ... imagine walking up to the umpire and questioning his descision!!! WTF !!!

    Don't think your plot would have worked though, SA may have decided to play their better players instead of resting them, so grass or no grass, doesn't matter.

  • Niaz Khan on January 28, 2007, 7:49 GMT

    Shoab now and then gets unfit and creates some news. He should be more prfoessional instead he is more a "show man". I wonder why Imran Khan supports him although Shoab does not even bother that he being watched the world-over for his spat with Bob Woolmer. He does seem to care.I do not when he would learn? Do you?

  • Khan on January 27, 2007, 22:08 GMT

    Just imagine our team, if all our players are physically fit AND MOST importantly our selectors are mentally fit....

    Just a Thought.

    The team management made a BIG mistake by sending Shoaib Akhter back, they should have created an impression that he will be fit by the third test and will play the third test and in the morning of third test declare that he is still unfit.

    Beleive U me there would have been NO grass on the pitch!!

  • monk on January 27, 2007, 18:13 GMT

    I wonder when the stupid people of this country will begin to sit up and realise what the state of affairs truly is in our country. The malady that we all see in cricket is just a mirror of what happens in every sphere. I just question what we are paying the foreign experts for when every tour, several key players go unfit. If we had paki experts, i would understand, because they are and would be as stupid as the rest of us , but these "foreign" shld be better qualified to know when someone is fit or not!!!. That is not to deny the fact, that our Selection Committee, headed by the erstwhile Wasim Bari (an ass of the first class!) Ehteshamuddin ( the guy who played 3 tests in his overweight career), and Iqbal Qasim (great spinner, but to be on the selection committee?), and these 3 "wise men" have been running the reigns of who plays or not for the past so many years?? and no one has been able to throw them off ???..I have played, and watched cricket now for 40years, and what is happening is only a mirror of what is happening in Pakistan as a whole. As the adage for Democracy goes " To the Fools, by the Fools, for the Fools". Apologies to all our hot head readers, i love Pakistan as much as you do, i just like to call a Spade a Spade

  • Robert on January 27, 2007, 17:36 GMT

    Lets face it... even when taking performance enhancing drugs the players can't keep fit. Time for Pakistan to do what Hansie Cronje did many years ago and set up a proper fitness program that EVERY player must follow. Inzi should be setting an example. But again I dare anyone to put Inzi on a diet!

    On a related note... I have read elsewhere that it might be suggested that Pakistan be ejected from the world cup as they seem to have had no problem with their players taking performance enhancing drugs? Makes you think...

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 27, 2007, 11:53 GMT

    Both the openers did not last for full 10 overs in BOTH the innings of the second test and the opening partnership did not produce more than 15 runs and both openers were back with a score of 28. And Pakistan still keep this idiot FARHAT in the team? Hafeez and Yasir Hameed are no good either. What a shame that Pakistan's team selection is based on the facts of how obedient you are off the field and in the dressing room. Also, how resourceful and well connected your father in law in Pakistan is!

    PCB, the captain and the coach are still keeping Farhat, Hameed and Hafeez in the team despite repeated failures and discarded Afridi on the basis that he is not in form! What a load of cow manure. Are these 3 players in form? Afridi is anytime better than these three players put together. He has 193 wickets and 4880 runs and 4 centuries to his credit in ODI's and his test batting average is 35 and five centuries in test matches.

    The point is do they consider Shahid Afridi as a batting allrounder or a bowling allrounder? In the later case he is as good as Kaneria and his batting should be considered as a bonus. Also, he is anytime better than the new rookie Abdul Rahman who has not taken more than 2 wickets in any innings. But Pakistan has this old habit of praising someone new to the extent of making him a Tendulkar. The only apparent reason of not taking Afridi in the team as a bowling allrounder is perhaps Mr. Mawali's AMF doesn't like him?

  • ahmed on January 27, 2007, 10:51 GMT

    hey you pakis fist n formost find a good doctor or physyciannnnn... don blame the players? are they haveing a fitnest plan place in the PCB??? I DONT THINK SO....

  • Rizwan Rehmat, Doha, Qatar on January 27, 2007, 10:17 GMT

    I would put down the injuries to players to too much of cricket with little rest between matches. Last year I spoke to Aussie great Ian Chappell in Doha where he told me that too much of cricket is a major concern for all the players. When you play too much of cricket, not only you pick up injuries, but the motivation levels drop and fatigue creeps into your system.

    With stakes so high, players tend to stage a comeback half-fit and that is detrimental to the players' career not to mention the team cause.

    I was reading one of the notes in this blog and somebody rightly pointed out that there is no proper fitness culture in our country. Our hospitals are full whereas our parks are less populated at the best of times.

    Our players come from the same system and learn the nuances of professional fitness only after becoming part of the team or national camp. People are embracing new themes, but it will take some time before we can see greater emphasis being laid on fitness and ways to avoid injuries and taking proper care when one is down with physical discomfort.

    The great Michael Jordan used to carry out special set of exercises to strengthen his body so that he could withstand the rigours of a tough sport like basketbal. He used to treat his body like a holy place. That is what our players need to do too.

    Once they do that, their fitness levels ought to go up and the performances will definitely see great improvement.

    In short - let's have a sport fitness culture in Pakistan. Let's back this up!

    Rizwan Rehmat, Doha, Qatar.

  • Ahmad Nasir on January 27, 2007, 7:56 GMT

    Give me a break. Injuries to the players happens with every cricket playing teams, but how they manage it, that is importatnt. PCB has to be more professional and experienced(in cricket) and should not be induljed in the dirty politics. Our cricket gurus, should work on preparing backups for all players i.e., Each bowler and each batsman must have at least three backups, otherwise after two or three years the position will be worsed for our cricket team. Best wiches for Pakistan for the 3rd test.

  • Suhaib on January 27, 2007, 6:32 GMT

    I am only 23, however I dont think I would live to see the day when Gul,Asif and Shoaib play in the same team :)

  • Mabsoos Ahmad from New Delhi, India on January 27, 2007, 5:48 GMT

    Dear Kamran Bhai,

    It is really a good and sensational question for which I appreciate very much for raising this issue. A full fit Cricketer is an asset for the team and the country rather than half fit and we expect more and more from them. In this machine age, it is very hard to see the fully fit cricketer but we have to learn and take lesson from Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting and so many others cricketer of the past. How they kept themselves fit. I remember when taking over the job of coaching as Pakistan team, Mr. Bob Woolmer said that Pakistani Cricketer is half fit. It is true. The fitness level is very poor and PCB must think and choose the player is who is fully fit as if you have unfit player in the dressing room, others get unfit mentally. Why Shoaid Malik is sitting in the dressing room if he is not fit???? There are other bunch of players who can go there. Sometime I wonder that the Coach is more fit than the players ???? Take a class from Bob how he is making fit at the age of 58+. The Pakistani team is the youngest batch and they should do something to keep themselves fit. In modern cricket, physical fitness is key, not to speak about the cathing job if you are fit you will take some good cathces and save boundreis for the team. It would be good to see a fully fit pakistani team in the coming World Cup.

    In the end, thank you Kamran Bhai for raising such a valuable question before the World Cup so that the players, management and others are aware that fitness is very essential to win the matches.

  • Jamil on January 27, 2007, 2:32 GMT

    a different, and direct, tone in the article this time ... I agree that Pakistan is plagued with injuries and probably the worst among all cricket playing nations: facts: we started with injured Malik, then injured Gul, then injured Shoaib, Asif is under a lot of pressure for lot of bowling - and that too with excellence - we had issues last year when Rana couldn't play in England because he had (pakistani bowlers' favourite) groin injury, Inzi had to sit out in Australia etc etc. I remember the times when imran, akram, waqar, jaffer etc would get injury upon injury one after the other. So to calculate that we are any worse than before is probably not correct. However, after 20 years, if Pakistani team is still as unfit as in the 80s (and 90s), then we haven't really learnt anything.

    This brings to 'Three Docs' case that was given in the blog. No doubt that PCB is not doing enough, neither are the players, to remain fit. On one side we have Australian team getting into immense fitness activities comparable with armed forces and on the other hand we have teams like Pakistan and India with batsmen showing (or failing to show) waistlines of 40" and bowlers ripping their groins and hamstrings i.e. batsman have no body balance and bowlers have no running legs!! Not only is it the responsibility of the players, PCB must define a fitness framework and arrange fitness specialist (who are fit themselves e.g. Sri Lankan fitness coach). It must be included in the contract of the players that PCB will be responsible for a fitness agenda and will evaluate players on a pre-agreed fitness checklist. Failure on either side will result in monetary and contractual penalties.

    Having read the blog and comments, and writing all this, we all feel the potential issue for the world cup. PCB said before the first test match that Umar Gul just needs a bit of rest and now he is ruled out of the series - so what was PCB telling us? Lies? Shoaib's injury is merely grade one hamstring injury which takes 2-3 weeks max - he can try out a couple of one-dayers for sure - must less intense than Gul's who bowled three overs in a warm-up match. Shoaib set up the victory for 2nd match.

    I must say that Shoaib is being unduly and unjustly treated by PCB - first not selecting, then . He is probably one of the most fearsome (and proven with brilliance!) bowler to step into the field. No one would have the guts to treat Fazal Mahmood, Imran and Wasim like this. I would say Shoaib's ego is not close to the size of some of these giants. And he rubbed it on PCB's (and team management) face by decimating SA. It is proven by Smith's comments before the start of 2nd match - and by the relief on SA players in the ground today.

    Hopefully, both Shoaib and Gul will be back in team with Asif. Tim de Lisle (Jan 23rd) wrote: "Pakistan have probably the best attack in the world on paper, but in practice ... well, if they were all fit, not banned, and speaking to the captain and the coach, they'd be terrific". He goes on to define a measurement metric (sum of top bowler seed): "England 65 Hoggard 6, Flintoff 8, Harmison 18, Panesar 33

    Pakistan 58 Shoaib 9, Gul 15=, Kaneria 15=, Asif 19

    India 67 Kumble 3, Pathan 14, Harbhajan 24, Sreesanth 26

    Sri Lanka 74 Murali 1, Vaas 11, Malinga 30, Fernando 32

    South Africa 48 Ntini 2, Pollock 4, Nel 17, Kallis 25

    New Zealand 62 Bond 6, Franklin 13, Vettori 20, Martin 23

    West Indies 118 Collymore 10, Collins 29, Edwards 39, Taylor 40" and for Australia, he wrote "Australia's top four bowlers are Clark at 7, Lee at 12, MacGill at 21 and Jason Gillespie (my dear old thing!) at 22. Total 62".

    I think, we all know the capabilities and surprises that our team can give us.

  • Hassan Mahmood on January 27, 2007, 0:54 GMT

    Just to add, I have made the following point in many places but many have refused to believe it and some people have refused to publish it.

    Here goes.

    I went to get some autographs from the Pakistan team in Birmingham the day before the 5th and final ODI at Edgbaston.

    I got a number of the guys to sign my shirt (pics are on the internet, e.g. http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y168/hassan_113/CNV00005.jpg

    I have been a fan since I was 7 years old and Akhtar twice refused to sign my shirt and was somehow 'unfit' to play the next day. Let's just say the team hotel was next to Birmingham's nightlife.

    Asif also pushed me before signing me an autograph and a former hero of mine, Waqar Younis was very rude. Look at this.

    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y168/hassan_113/CNV00007.jpg

  • Seeko on January 27, 2007, 0:33 GMT

    Posted by: Zabeeh Khan at January 26, 2007 3:30 AM

    Assalam-o- alaikum. I don't agree with any of these comments from you people. You don't know whats going on in the paksitani team. It is not injuries ot fitness of the players it is all politics. Woolmer doesn't want pakistan to win the world cup because he is going to join england team, and i know this for fact that england will win this world cup. Pakistani management is all screwed up, all curruption, poverty, and lack of psychological effects of jealousy has been around them since the beggining. Shoib is fit, Shabir ahmed is fit but don't want to send them to south africa because wolmer asshole doesn't like shoaib as well as shabir. as long as woolmer there pakistan will not successed in the world cup. Allah bless Pakistan and Pakistani cricket team.

    Please list your resources before you start poking fun at yourself.

  • Syed M. Hasan on January 27, 2007, 0:29 GMT

    Oh and another thing. Javed A. Khan of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. That is not Farhat that is the phisiyo. And your mind is absolutley filthy.

  • Syed M. Hasan on January 27, 2007, 0:27 GMT

    I hope evryone is fit for the world cup. Shabbir, Shoaib, n Gul. They along with Asif will make the best attack of all time. Oh, n after the world cup we MUST dump shoaib akthar. We wll still have an excellent bowling atack except the only thing missing from this bowling attack will be the controversy, whining, and drama. One last thing. Farhat can't play in the world cup. Afridi absolutley has to open. Farhat s very loose and shaky. In a slow test it might be ok because teams can recover, but in ODI' we will need someone who can bat aggresivley. Besides i don't realy want a full time spinner in the squad. Afridi can do that as well.

  • AJ on January 26, 2007, 23:03 GMT

    I think its high time now that we finally have doping tests for all the members of the PCB. They all are running on something AMAZING. You are absolutely right about the Medical staff. I mean what in the world are they getting paid for. Four premier members of our team have been unfit for the last two months and they have not been able to do anything. Even a person like Shabbir who hasnot played for an year is unfit. I mean where is all the physical training. Do they just leave a player for dead if he is not in the team. But the greatest credit goes to the people who select the playing eleven. I mean how in the world do we still have Sami bowling. The guy has a freaking career average of 48.5! yes 48.5! He would not make it into any other team of the world. Yet he is still playing for a country that is "supposed" to produce the best fast bowlers. I have no clue how our "Expert" coach misses this even though he is always eager to dis the best bowler that we have whenever he gets the chance. Shoaib played in one innings and he still has more wickets than Sami for the whole of the series. This is atrociuos. Lets hope that England hires our coach very soon so that the misery finally ends.

  • Mawali on January 26, 2007, 21:30 GMT

    Kamran Sahib, kind of a boring topic, however, the action in the 3rd test has sparked some interest. I would not put the onus of player fitness on the Doctors. With the motto of perform and play as the guide it behooves the players to keep and stay fit.

    The PCB (prized collection of buffoons) has to enforce a workout routine setup by the team trainers and the physicians that would almost certainly include dietary guidelines (With Fridays being designated as Nihari Fridays, eat your Nihari and seek divine intervention). Now at the start of every training camp, each player should be weighed and put through a workout to measure the player fitness. Any player not meeting the requirements has to be fined substantially and perhaps even made to sit out a game.

    Now the latter is easier said then done as David Furrows I think pointed out. Pakistan for the most part has a set of playing eleven that only an injunction from God can break or rotate. The only way to get out of the playing eleven is through injury, otherwise if you hit a century back in 1945 against the Mohalla eleven then damn it you are good, if you fail to perform than no worries Inshallah you will do better next time, and the sordid saga continues.

    However, if a revelation happens to come through on Nihari Fridays then, a policy as the one suggested earlier would bring younger players into the fore and provide Pakistan a larger pool of players to select from on merit. Now honestly all of this makes for as I said earlier a boring discussion and nothing meaningful will ever come out of it. Consider for example Shaoib Akhtar; the dude is completely reckless with his body and fitness and seems to be burning the candle at both ends as it were. Having said that I want to see him back in the saddle to-morrow today would be better.

    It is "what have you done for me lately babe" philosophy. As a fan I could care less what a player does on his own time. I just want him to bowl at 90 mph and/or hit a century all the time. The PCB and the players have to figure out in a hurry how they will juggle their pool of players before I pull the plug on them.

    Now a sad commentary on todays proceedings.Again, a pathetic performance by the batting lineup and the moron you were pleading a pardon for; missed another stumping opportunity. Nice going! AMF!

  • Syed Irfan Ahmed on January 26, 2007, 20:16 GMT

    First thing first! let's use Shoib in the world cup and after that just dump him. Enough is said and written about him i think it is time that all of us move on from this junk trunk and pitch him overboard. Every body will agree that he is the most unproductive tool (the utility factor).

    Kamran has raised a very valid point the health of all our players is a matter of grave concern to every body. As is a fact that our domestic cricket is dominated by departments who employ these players. It should be easy for then to implement a policy i.e. if they make it mandatory for every player to spend time in the gym while not playing and have trained personnel there to guide them regarding the kind of conditioning they should be in in relation to their craft for example bowling or batting. It could prove to be a pivotal move towards enhancing the playing life of these players. It should catch on too because it will make them look good. Now this may sound a bit narsisitic but if it catches on than atleast you have a fitter buch of players to deal with who are aware of their capabilities when it comes to extreme physical challenges. Such as bowling for an increased length of time agility in the fielding, running between the wickets and so on.

    For these department to have such a facility should not take a great effort as most of them may already have one which just sits there and gathers dust . Now is the time to wipe it off and throw open the doors and bring in the herd with a "dunda". Strict dietary regiman should be observed or taught to be observed by these players that will provide the crucial balance betweeb diet and exercise. I am quite positve if it were known that some player's great deeds are tied in with his fitness/exercise regiman that is all the impetus you need and all the players will fall in the position.

  • Euceph Ahmed on January 26, 2007, 19:25 GMT

    Robert... Why do you want to do to Inzi what they once did to the great maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan? Doctors once advised him to lose weight and when he did he stopped hitting his notes.

    Now who can forget the 2000 World Cup when Inzi shed more pounds than the runs he ended up scoring (some 18 odd runs in 5 or 6 matches).

    So leave the big guy alone. Let him have his Gajrelas, Biryanis, and Paaye. We need him to score. He sees the ball better after a bowl of Russ-Malai, and a few Gulab-Jamans!!!

  • Ahsan on January 26, 2007, 18:44 GMT

    only problem pakistan currently face is shoaib akhtar.. although asif and kaneria are talented lads.. but akhtar provides far more variations and option, not to froget the experience, in bowling department.. another guy came up in my mind just now whom i had forgotten - Abdur Razzaq.. he always has 1-2 wickets in his pockets as well as ability to defend at a pace only he is capable of, when needed. always a very handy man.. we don't have him either.. and why afridi is not being included in the squad? is it just because of his form or maybe i am one of those who if you want to put in kamrans' words, then fall into this category:

    It seems few people know who is fit and who isn't. Fewer people know why anybody might be unfit. And nobody seems to know how to make anybody who is unfit fit again.

  • Ali Majid on January 26, 2007, 18:19 GMT

    This is quite an interesting piece. The injury problems in the Pakistan camp are becoming an embarrasment. Looking at the performances of this injury ravaged side I wonder (like many of my fellow Pakistanis) what the actual result would have been in England if we had a fit squad. I am not going to beleive for a second the thought that the Engliash side that we played against was a better one than this South African side (and our performance on this particular tour has been remarkable). Injuries have cost us on far too many occasions. I am struggling to remember the last time that Pakistan had the luxury of playing their best XI. This problem has to be sorted and looked at but it would be unfair to lay the blame on the management entirely.

  • ish on January 26, 2007, 11:11 GMT

    salam, you are right, but im just writing to say when pakistan have their first eleven out there, they can beat anyone. Even this very series would be over by now if we had shoaib asif gul kaneria as the bowlers in the first two matches

  • Ateeq Ahmed on January 26, 2007, 11:03 GMT

    Spot On Boss!!!!

  • Ghalib Imtiyaz on January 26, 2007, 10:20 GMT

    Sami is one of fittest fast bowler of this generation but he is not always as effective as Shoaib. I am not sure if Shoaib was really injured after sending 11 overs however the workload was shared by 3 main bowlers and they got Pakistan the deserving victory and surely Shoaib knows that Pakistan is capable of winning without Shoaib but against Australia he is always a better option than mediocre Shahid Nazir who may be more accurate but like James Anderson he may not make much of an impact against Australia. I dont see any side being able to compete against Australia except Pakistan.

    They must play 3 practice matches against the state sides before playing Australia ... its a mistake England made and its something Pakistan can ill afford.

  • tariq on January 26, 2007, 10:11 GMT

    just compelled to write again after watching the dismal and pathetic performance of top order batsmen of the paksitani team in the third test started an hour ago. dont you think i was right in my earlier comment that these are stooges of the presidency and prime minister secretariat who r here to perform in circus that too in presence of the poodle nasim ashraf

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 26, 2007, 9:57 GMT

    FITNESS of the players should be at the top of the agenda for all the times. But, right now it seems that Inzamam and Bob Woolmer's focus is elsewhere. According to an earlier report in the daily Dawn and cricinfo, Inzi has requested PCB to send Shabbir, Razzaq and Afridi as replacements - once bitten twice shy - PCB declined the request for Shabbir because he is not fit. But, after that there is a dead silence and no news about Razzaq or Afridi. There was no way that either of the two could have played the third test due to time constraints. But, doesn't it make more sense to bring these players a week before the ODI series start? It would have given them enough time to get over with their jet lag, get oriented and acclamatize to the local conditions and isn't it a part and parcel of the fitness programme to give the players enough time to settle down?

    As the 3rd test is in progress, its pathetic to see the same openers playing same shots and getting out cheaply. Imran Farhat earlier dropped by A.B.de Villiers when he was on one, added 19 more and he is gone. Yasir Hamid through out this series has not looked comfortable against Ntini and he got out cheaply and Pakistan are 47/3, what a shame. I don't understand why Farhat and Hameed are in the team? Asim Kamal has once again been deprived of a chance to play. Fitness or no fitness, the selection of the team is once again on the basis of personal likes and dislikes and they are going to pay a price for it.

  • tariq on January 26, 2007, 7:42 GMT

    y do single out the cricket team when it comes to the role of performance and credibility.how come cricket team is going to behave differently than the behavior of the remaining 150M people of this country. look what is being done by the president and the prime minister from wana to quetta.it is about minting money and the 11 in whites are conduits for the instructions released from the presidency and the prime minister secretariat through the middleman nasim ashraf the current chair person of the bccp.please have peace of mind and watch tri series in australia and enjoy both life and cricket.get rid of these woolmers and start to trust and depend upon the immeasurable talent and experience available in the shape of srafraz,imran.javed,intikhab,waqar,wasim,inzimam,yousaf the list is long and lasting.but the problem is how could we overcome our slave mentality and the sickness we are suffering from.

  • Muhammed Ali Khan on January 26, 2007, 6:58 GMT

    It is but only a little more surprising to see the fitness level of the Pakistan cricket team since the on field performance is none different than it. One day they could be winners the other day appear as minnows not knowing where to go and how to go? I can only say that its high time that some sports legends of the country should give some time to this ailing sports of our before it is too late. Naturally a doctor is meant to prescribe medicines to patients

  • Kiran Kashif on January 26, 2007, 6:10 GMT

    I think Javed Shah's post above sums it up perfectly for Pakistan. I think Pakistanis and the PCB really need to take a good hard look at the likes of Shoaib Akhtar and ask themselves whether all the turmoil, the infighting, the misbehaviour, the superstar tantrums, the fake injuries, lack of respect for team-mates and officials, and the total lack of fitness and integrity is worth it for an occasional match-winning performance? My view is that it isent. Javed Shah said that Akhtar was busy smoking and laughing at the ground after having let his team down, well thats not the first time but we can definately make it the last. If Pakistanis really want to see a strong and fighting Pakistan team, then we should push for the exclusion of people lie Akhtar immediately. I know he's your favourite player Kamran, but even you should be sick of his tantrums and lack of respect for fans, team-mates, officials, and most of all the green-cap that he has the privledge to wear on his head. I would like to thank Javed Shah from South Africa for his post, because it just re-enforced my suspicions on Shoaib Akhtar's lack of integrity and responsibility.

  • Robert on January 26, 2007, 6:03 GMT

    So many have mentioned that diet might also be a factor... I dare any of you to suggest that Inzi go on a strict diet!

  • zaheer kakar on January 26, 2007, 5:58 GMT

    i agree most of the comments as i read but one thing is sure that pakistani players have lack of professionalism.how one can suppose to smoke when he is the heart beat of millions.in 1954-55 when pakistan touring England i dont think they have physios doctors and physactrics but they still manage to won.......same as in the case of squash we know what pakistan is capable of what we realyy require iz the spark n spirit we will be on the top....anyway keep ur finger across for the world cup.

  • Imran Ahmed on January 26, 2007, 5:46 GMT

    I agree but then with all things Pakistani in nature maybe a call to an American doctor might have solved the problem!

    BTW does anyone monitor what people write in the comments section or do you allow filthy words to slip by on purpose?

  • Zabeeh Khan on January 26, 2007, 3:30 GMT

    Assalam-o- alaikum. I don't agree with any of these comments from you people. You don't know whats going on in the paksitani team. It is not injuries ot fitness of the players it is all politics. Woolmer doesn't want pakistan to win the world cup because he is going to join england team, and i know this for fact that england will win this world cup. Pakistani management is all screwed up, all curruption, poverty, and lack of psychological effects of jealousy has been around them since the beggining. Shoib is fit, Shabir ahmed is fit but don't want to send them to south africa because wolmer asshole doesn't like shoaib as well as shabir. as long as woolmer there pakistan will not successed in the world cup. Allah bless Pakistan and Pakistani cricket team.

  • aqeel on January 26, 2007, 2:54 GMT

    After reading you article I think if PCB needed a doctor to lead our board they were probably better off getting an orthopod, physical therapist or may be psychiatrist for anger management but they picked an oncologist, I beieve nobody has any malignancy in our team. I am myself a doctor in USA, I wonder what these doctors are doing in PCB doing an embarassing job for our team and nation. Our team has become a comedy of errors after they have taken over. Please send them back to clinics. Pakistani peaople need good doctors in the hospitals instead of making a mess of our cricket team.

  • Seeko on January 26, 2007, 2:50 GMT

    I think it is a phase the team is going through at the moment. Malik and Razzak havn't been injured a lot in the past. It's just unfortunate to have our main players unfit at hte same time.

    ANyways, I don't think it makes sense to go on and blame PCB for this. What the hell can PCB do? Virender Sehwag was critisized for munching on oily foods and gaining weight while he was away from the office. Now, BCCI can't do much about the issue, can they?

    English team has so many injured players. Does tha imply ECB is not taking care of it's players? I heard English players are treated like like little babies, thats how many caretakers rome around with the squad.

    Therefore, I think Pakistani public really needs to monitor the emotions and pray that their players are back on the field soon. Again, I think it is just a bad patch the team is going through.

  • David Miller on January 26, 2007, 2:44 GMT

    I believe the folks are going a bit too over board here. Put Shoaib aside, let's talk about the player's currently on the injury list.

    Shoaib Malik? I can't recall a moment from the past 2 years when he sat out because of injuries.

    Razzak? How many times has been been injured? I have been seeing him play for years constantly.

    Gul? He had to get injured. He was bowling too many overs constantly against West Indies.

    Sohaib? Well, no comments.

  • john carapiet on January 26, 2007, 2:10 GMT

    Sport fitness is now a "science". Pakistan has too many meddling "artists", including the players themselves. Only non-professionals can hope to earn high prestige (and big money!), with 'guzara' health and fitness attitudes and lifestyle. One benefit,though,the production line moves faster...one falls over..two more move in for selection. John Carapiet

  • saswat ray on January 26, 2007, 2:07 GMT

    ya i agree with the statement.but i wanna know where has shahid afridi perished.will he be picked for odi team.with just 1 mont to go for world cup its time for pcb to bring him back.he is the ace card of pakistani success in wi.last time when he toured wi he was very successful.i feel his leg spin is gonna work in wi.he is got to be picked.

  • David Furrows on January 26, 2007, 1:53 GMT

    Hi Kamran, I'm a doctor too, and I'll tell you what I think is wrong.

    Firstly, countries like Pakistan and New Zealand which play a disproportionately high number of ODIs suffer too many injuries.

    Secondly, Pakistan rarely gives overworked players a rest in the way that South Africa is doing with Pollock and Nel today.

    Thirdly, there is a major attitude problem, of which Inzamam and Shoaib Akhtar are the worst offenders. Imran Khan, Javed Miandad or Fred Trueman would have to be dead to be removed from the field, whereas we saw both Inzi and Akhtar leave the field on Days 1 and 3 when it was totally inappropriate. Interestingly, I understand that the scans in Port Elizabeth on Shoaib's hamstring showed a minor tear which could have been played through, and which would have left him available for selection in the Third Test.

    Unfortunately both Inzi and Shoaib tend to see their job as done when they have batted or bowled well, and feel entitled to put their feet up and watch their less gifted teammates do the hard yards.

    And finally, Umar Gul. Remember four years ago when he pulled out a stump when they were bowled out, not understanding that Pakistan had to bat again? The guy is totally uneducated (no crime) and has a clear tendency to try to hide his injuries in the hope that they will go away.

    And lay off Razzaq and Shoaib Malik. Both have already played more ODIs (Razzaq 224 and Malik 129) than Ian Botham (116) played in his entire career, and their injuries represent nothing more and nothing less than overwork.

  • Muhammad usman Aslam , Melbourne on January 26, 2007, 1:17 GMT

    I've mentioned it before and I find it imp to be stressed again... This whole issue is related to the level of professionalism ... Our subcontinent teams , pak and india mainly take this profession as an exciting joyride and means of gaining celebrity status.... Thought they make millions BUT are inconsistent and dispassionate mostly... ocassional shows of brilliance at times are a desperate attempt to overwrite the dismal failures of the past week.

    Pakist do have better results though and fighting spirit but the injury issue is also coz we are not much concerned abt the diet and routine..

    Brett lee said recently he had to give up drinking to stay away from injuries..For the last 4 years he has been the most fit injury free fast bowler around.. While here we hve mr shoaib akhtar proudly reverberating his love for wine and women...

    So as the wrinkles around his eyes keep getting wider, so do the troubles within our cricketing circles..

    Time to show Professionalism exists !!

  • Ali Akram on January 26, 2007, 0:33 GMT

    Well i can imagine the frustation you guys are feeling. From my initial read i have an impression there is a perception that maybe Doctors are a party in this fault. Being of same profession i disagree. During my residency i had a chance to rotate through physical therapy where a university basketball and americal football team came for training and eval...simillar facillities and excercise training and medical eval was in Pakistan though we lack a single facillity for sports medicine. Now our current players who get injured too regularly need to be evaluated. Sometime there is an area of muscle which need strengthning to cover the joint and lig support. Shoaib chronic issue is an enigma ans also a God gift to him. His hypermobility allows joint laxity and that associated with flat floot will ALWAYS put him at risk of injries to his BACK and Knee and when coming out of a long pause it will put the muscle at risk, with steroid us of non specified period it can also take its toll on connective tissue of the body...in short he will always be at risk. Now to utilise him maximally is to allow adequate recovery period by properly monitored excercise plan in between his active period. This can be judged as per his history. His max is 3 test at strech. Now this needs to be a nidus for starting rotation system. To have Shaib play 2 matches and being rotated with 1 Under-study. Now Gul, long stature along with action put him at risk of severe BACK problem, as at delivery stride his strength is coming from a rapid muscle push from back. His current problem could be possible from the simillar cause but i suspect it will be ok and by having him work on his proper muscles in leg he can have a long future withrotation in 4 - 5 Tests. In all the medical panel is there for consult but if you realise most of time the players get injured overseas and our local medical board is never involved.

  • salman ali from houston on January 25, 2007, 23:31 GMT

    I think the major problem of Pakistanis is their diet. Looking at the weight of our best batsman "Inzamam ul haq" and our best bowler "Shoaib Akhtar" and comparing them with Ricky Ponting and Brett Lee we get a clear idea where Pakistan is heading. I doubt doctors can do anything about it. They cant go in their houses and make them stop from what they are eating. I think the players have to do something on their own.

  • Aftab on January 25, 2007, 23:12 GMT

    I do agree with the point made about PCB' inept medical management. There is no question that PCB do not know what to do, and what they do know they should do, they do awfully ineffectively. But this should no detract from one other fundamental problem. This has to do with players'own lack of interest in maintaining fitness. Staying fit requires year-around, day-in-day-out exercise routines and observing dietary descipline. I dont think our cricketers realize this.

  • JANET on January 25, 2007, 23:10 GMT

    If you think Pakistan make excuses about fitnees think again. Apparantly all Englands problems in Australia are down to injury. England has umpteen doctors fitness guys and nutritionists with the team, and the players have no problems with language and/or information. At least Pakistan are putting up a good fight in South Africa. England have shown no backbone at all.

  • safwan on January 25, 2007, 23:03 GMT

    commenting on the post by mr.javed shah from south africa, its an amazing realisation that our fast bowlers smokee in public!!

    pakistan cricket and the general public have had enough of shoiab akhtar....he may be our finest match winner, but seeing him limp off during matches and being involved in every imaginable scandal is a gruelling experience for the fans....its time we bid adieu to shoaib n move onnn!

  • safwan on January 25, 2007, 22:54 GMT

    shoaib was declared fit before the start of play.....how did he get injured after just 11 overs.....injury related questions regarding this pakistani team are really intriguing??? why are these supposed fitness gurus paid so highly if they cannot ensure the fitness of our best 11 players before a particular match???

  • arshad on January 25, 2007, 22:49 GMT

    brilliant topic, it is high time that the injury prone pakistan team debate was put into the limelight. There seems to be a real lack of discipline within the team and the management. It is upto the PCB to put their foot down and with a team unfortunately like Pakistan to dictate their fitness regimes and try to gain the best from our highly talented team which could give Australia a real run for their money if it had a highly motivated, well structured, disciplined management team. We need to look after our players and unlike other international players and teams require a great deal more guidance with regards etiquette and of course fitness. I know that i am perhaps putting the team down, but it is purely due to the sheer frustration the team inflict upon their supporters and indeed themselves when we all know how much talent and depth we have within the squad to display some fantastic cricket.

  • Mike Rosario on January 25, 2007, 22:38 GMT

    To blame PCB for teh injuries would be a bit unfair. The number of matches played is one the biggest reasons for the injuries. Dorment wickets in today's cricket take a heavy toll on the fast bowlers. Might I add ...diet and lack of exercise might be another major concern. Hate to say Inzamam is a serious diet problem . No regular exercise , Parathas and Kukkarh now what is that . See his performance is inversely proportional to food intake..the less he eats the better for his cricket.

  • khansahab on January 25, 2007, 22:24 GMT

    people here are discussing about the mysterious ways players get injured. i recently saw abdur razzaq's interview on television. it became clear that the cause of his current omission is his form rather than injury. the issue has been disguised, most probably, due to senior players' request. they don't want more negative media attention at players who are being omitted because of poor form. shoaib malik and razzaq are in the worst form of their careers.

    you can imagine how worse the situation would be......"malik and razzaq, two (relatively) experienced players, have been kicked out a month or so prior to the World Cup owing to pathetic form."

    shoaib akhtar is a silly cricketer (i choose my words very liberally because if i do not, they will be removed from this blog anyway). he says he is a good representative of his country and that he wants pakistan to win matches. he is the fastest bowler in the world and half the times i have seen him ball, i have seen the slightest of bulging bellies. he should be completely flat like all other genuine pacers are, but he is not. he himself does not work enough on his fitness. he himself is to blame.

    i think there is a strong case for not playing akhtar in tests, yes he is an effective bowler, but there is always the chance that he'll get injured and won't be available to play in the second innings, which puts undue and unfair pressure on other bowlers.

    i'm hoping to see imran farhat out of the playing XI in tomorrow's test. something tells me my hopes might be wrong!!! :(

  • Alex on January 25, 2007, 22:19 GMT

    Ultimately it is apparent that the majority of the Pakistan players do not take fitness and professionalism seriously. They are quite happy to go through the motions and if it comes off then all well and good. I think the post by Javed Shah sums up the attitude which has been inherent in the team since the late 1960s, all through the 70's and 80's only to be partly curtailed by the Wrath of Khan for a brief period then went into decline in the 90s due to internal Akram politics. Although Akram is the source of a lot of mischievous behaviour amongst the players, he did take his fitness on the field very seriously. Having seen the team in the late 80's trying to run a lap around the Lord's outfield, it was laughable and like a slap stick comedy. The only ones who could manage it were Khan and Akram.....Mansoor Akhtar looked as though he was going to collapse! Therefore rather than getting in a Boycott or Rhodes for a week, why not have a full time fitness trainer to really get these guys in shape and motivated. They should be proud to play for their country but appear to be money grabbing cheapskates.

  • Abid Khan on January 25, 2007, 21:48 GMT

    In a nutshell, Pakistani players are unfit. Its easy to see that because of this they lack the athleticism in fielding that is apparent with South African and Australian. In every match they play, Pakistan easily give away 30-40 runs because they lack quick reaction needed to stop the ball. Too many "siri pai" maybe ? Also their personal habits and vices abound. Without going into names, past and present players are fixated with alcohol. This affects their training and match fitness unlike other countries players who know they are not supposed to drink during matches. Furthermore, as someone has pointed out, some of the players were smoking. Thats not too bad but are you sure its tobacco they were smoking ? An incident in West Indies comes to mind when our star players landed in jail as they were caught smoking marijuana on the beach. This incident was hushed up. Be that as it may, these injuries to almost all our start fast bowlers is a serious indictment of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) or is that the Pretty Crap Board ? Its just not being run along professional lines but at the whim of the Patron and the Chairman.

  • Owais on January 25, 2007, 21:45 GMT

    I think its more of a problem of individual players than that of quality of doctors at our disposal. The only failure of PCB seems to be their failure to motivate the players for improving their fitness levels.

  • awais on January 25, 2007, 21:35 GMT

    please can you talk or comment on the "argument" between shoaib and woolmer i would really appreciate it

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 25, 2007, 21:24 GMT

    Javed Shah:

    I agree with you, it is indeed very appalling to see cricket players and athletes smoking and that too publicly. Whereas, they are supposed to be goodwill ambassadors of their countries and more so they are torch bearers and a shining example for the younger generation.

    I remember seeing an ad on PTV where Wasim Akram was seen jogging in his track suits and a little boy approaches him and asks him, "Wasim uncle don't you get tired?" And Wasim's response is, "No! I don't and thats because I don't SMOKE."

    That was more of a anti-smoking campaign ad giving a message to the young children.

    After sometime, I was watching on TV a live county championship match being played in England .... like they always do..... they showed the players standing in the dressing room, and suddenly my 10 year old nephew started shouting....."jhoota, jhoota.... (liar, liar) and he pointed out that Wasim Akram was standing among the other players on the balcony and he was seen smoking blatantly and without any shame!

    Its a very well known fact that smoking not only causes cancer of the lung and a menace that is the root cause of coronary diseases but, it also makes your body very stiff due to toxins.

    There is also a u-tube of Shoaib Akhtar where he is sitting with his friends singing Kishore Kumar songs and smoking Sheesha.....which is even worst.

    So you are right in saying: " Is this the type of player(s), Pakistan want representing their country? I hope not."

    Yes, we already had enough of him. But, the irony is, his God Father, Imran Khan has recently supported him and he thinks that they should not have sent Shoaib back home!

    Now whats Euceph Ahmad got to say on this?

  • eddy on January 25, 2007, 21:13 GMT

    As compared to some other sports such as Soccer, american football or basketball where you have to be super fit, Cricket is not a very pahysically demanding sport. I just wonder why most of the Pakistani players are always unfit? I recently saw a youtube video where Shoaib akthar was smoking a cigarette, wondered how can one be a fast bowler and smoke a cigarette? also I wondered if the factor is pakistani diet (food) and the lack of physical trianing that causes such injuries. The palyers should be well disciplined and watch thier diets and thier addictions. They ought to know that they are playing for pakistan and not for their ownselves, if the team requires them to be fit then they should do whatever to make sure they are fit, this is called professionalism, which seems to be lacking from the entire PCB organizationa and the team.

  • Khan99_Holland on January 25, 2007, 20:58 GMT

    Hello Everyone:A-U-A: Well i didn't read all of the above maybe someone has already discussed the points which i am going to comment on.Secondly, since five years i am following Cricket through cricinfo not watching, so may be my observations are a bit different,but anyhow. First of all, We can't blame anyone and everyone is directly or indirectly responsible except from the accidents part which are always un predictable. If i would just consider the case of shoaib Akhter, i would say that first you should think of what conditions he has passed from before playing the last test match. Certainly he was tortured and there are always effects on health, even though i don't like personally the attitude of Shoaib (sorry to say) having problems with Woolmer etc. But one should expect injury from a fastes bowler, Because i know how much force and energy does it need to bowl specially when you are in 30s. Secondly, i would agree that injury is always been problem with other cricketers too but since we are emotionally involve with our teams so feel that its only happening to us but its not the case to a very certain level, As may be you know Ashfaq Ahmad (Late)used to say that when we are passing a signal and turns out red we think that why its happening to only us, but it happens to all. Another thing you should not compare your team/management/medical or other cricket relevant things to Australia or England. Because their crickters comes from a different academy/system etc and our comes from another one. InshAllah I will write next time for another topic. Sorry if someone don't agree with my thoughts. Allah Hafiz

  • Asad Markatia on January 25, 2007, 20:53 GMT

    I think Shoaib Akhtar is the most worthless cricketer in the world just because of his commitment. If I was a selector in PCB, shoaib will never be in the team. He is such a waste that he is not even good for the Pak A team. He bowls few overs and then gets unfit and he is just a show off. There are bowlers like Brett Lee who bowl as fast a Shoaib but stays fit almost all the time, look at his commitment and he has even improved his batting. It is SHAME to have a cricketer like Shoaib in any cricket team, be it a gully cricket team in karachi. If Pakistan cricket team needs to improve then they need commited cricketers not ones who bowl 11 overs and fall off and then talk about their impact in the team. Shoaib's attitude in pak cricket team is like he is giving a huge favor to every single pakistani by playing for pak cricket team. He just makes me mad because there is incredible amount of talent pak for cricketers so we don't need to take crap from fat big guy who is selfish and bowls when he feels like. It is not worth to loose a coach of Bob Woolmer's caliber because of crappy shoaib akhtar. No offence against anyone, it is just my opinion.

  • Imran Zia on January 25, 2007, 20:50 GMT

    It is completely mind boggling how the PCB operates. Shoaib Akhtar bowls in one innings and gets injured and he is at the centre of everyones anger as he has done something wrong. The same selectors that had declared Shoiab Akhtar unfit had sent Shoaib malik and Umar Gul as fit players and both of the did not play a match. And as far as match fitness is concerned Rana Naveed seemed that he had not even held a ball for months. And judging by the amount of effort exerted by the body how on earth did Abdul Razzak get injured.

  • mahir on January 25, 2007, 19:33 GMT

    Nothing much to disagree really! All I would say is that Pakistan is not 'the' top at injury problems but they are not far either. If there were ICC LG ratings for this, I am sure we would be occupying one of top spots. And I hope, in our admiration of to be everything number 1, we don't try hard to end up winning that race :p

  • Sameer on January 25, 2007, 19:20 GMT

    the high # of injuries are partly because of the medical panel but also because of the lack of interest from the players in keeping themselves fit. If our players had the desire to stay 100% fit, we wouldn't have had these many injuries. The players just want a break before WC so they are using injuries as an excuse.

  • azhar on January 25, 2007, 19:15 GMT

    i think the PCB have been unfair in the matters of medical tests on pakistani cricket team and drug reports about shoaib and asif was a set up. Pakistani players are taking 100% legal proteins and eatin alot chicken briani to get ready for the world cup. Pakistani players are not using sports enhancing drugs to increase their fitness. many of pakistani youngster such as yasir hameed, mohammad asif, imran farahat, and etc. have a fantastic athletic condition and are very good in the out field.

  • ASAD ALI on January 25, 2007, 18:38 GMT

    there are lot of things to consider while mentioning the fitness problems of pakistani fast bowlers.all of us know that shoaib akhtar is different from others,his joints are different he is flat footed.so he is more likely to be injured than others.question here is why players like shoaib malik are not fit even though he is not a fast bowler.someone shud sort out problems with all of pakistan players.PCB shud consider this for future and must have a medical panel which would check out fitness of players on regular basis.

  • Diavan on January 25, 2007, 18:32 GMT

    Every sportsman will sustain injuries, no matter how much fit they are. Why we see it more at ours compared to teams like Aussies, is simple. They have solid backup batsmen/bowlers ready to take over. And sometimes even their backup is better than original. Their winning stresk just never ends bcz of resources. In our case, we really have handful of players who are world class. Without them we are an average team. We would'nt be discussing this fitness issue right now, if we had a tough squad sitting outside, ready to replace. We have Shoaib, Asif, Shabbir as geniune wicket takers. Others are there more of support. Not much in spin anymore anyway. In batting, not much different either. We feel the difference right away, if either Inzi or Yousuf is out of the game. Whatever happened to the talent.

    Bottom line. We are low on resources. Enuff said.

  • Muhammad Danish Ayub on January 25, 2007, 18:21 GMT

    our problem aries due to not availability of large number of players. if some one is unfit and as he fell fit we directly want him to play at international level. second problem is as we faced in second test against SA when out one player get injured over burden others as asif bowl 13 overs in one spell which not a usual practice for pacers.if we have some relax the only with fitness of yousuf and younis

  • Karachiwala(UK) on January 25, 2007, 18:07 GMT

    Salam to Bhai sahab I agree with you Kamran Bhai that problem lies with PCB. My question is that the Physio and trainer attached to our team 1.What are they doing? 2.Are they qualified? 3.Are they sincerely promoting and monitoring the players do their respected workout. Is there any feedback given to PCB or to the players by them? Secondly do our players care to keep fit and perform at the highest level, I don't think so. PCB as an employer of Coach, Players, Trainer and support staff should make each individual accountable and also be accounted themselves to general public.

  • AB(Mobile,AL) on January 25, 2007, 18:06 GMT

    I read most of the comments. They were all very interesting. But i do have a different idea.

    Our injury criteria is based on three things:

    first a real injury. Why? Because our team thinks we are super heros. We do not need to work out or control our diet. Eat all those oily and desi food. I am sure they do want to or like to but if u are playing an international game u r required to watch ur own diet. Mostly, I think all the athletes in the world take care of them but our players want to go in the ground and swing it.

    2nd injury is political: u fight or argue with the captain, manager or coach u r injured and dropped from next series.(probably mentally injured because u got an opinion or suggestion, but it is a crime because u aint skipper or coach or selector)

    3rd injury is religious: Waqar Younis if u grow beard u will be coach again. Our criteria is religion not performance. Sorry, I am muslim but i sure like people to play on the basis of performance. I know Daniesh is in the team but we do have to show that we are diverse and we do not Discriminate (there is a term for it in Pakistan .."koota")

    So, we need to figure out first what kind of injury we are facing. So, I guess we do need three doctors, One professional trainer(not doc), One priest or mulla or father and last but not least one senator or much better an army officer!

  • Mohsin Irshad on January 25, 2007, 17:50 GMT

    surely its PCB's rsponsiblity to educate its players to only who are in the team but also who are at the junior level. I think we need to use the technology in a better way , PCB should develop some kind of website and hire a Sports Medicine Specialist who can write articles on the website , proper training schedule for the fast bowlers/players . This will help the talent from far away areas to get the proper education

  • shahid on January 25, 2007, 17:49 GMT

    aslamoalykum. What the hell is this? O ALLAH please help the pakistani players. i really do not understand why this key players are always injured and also why is it that only the key players always have probleam with something. Is it because they dont care weather they play or not? in my understanding the pcb should take great care with their player they can not keep on switching players. every one should be respectful to each other. players to the coach and the coach to the players. if any players think he is too good to play for pakistan and does not seem to have any interest in the game its fine kick them out the team who cares they dont wanna play leave them dont go and beg them.we want everything smooth going on we are human. THANK YOU

  • Said Chaudhry on January 25, 2007, 17:49 GMT

    What the PCB needs, simply, is an institute of Sports Science speacialists. Doctors or Physiotherepists who speacialize in sports science and rehab of players. Shoaib has been an injury failure simply because he never got the treatment he deserved and the rehab he deserved. You can argue that such is the life in the third world. But I am 100% sure the PCB can afford for services that will take proper care of our bowlers.

    Compare fast bowlers to pitchers in Baseball, here are somethings i noticed:

    In Major League Baseball, teams are very careful with the health and work of their pitchers. On normal basis, a starting pitcher is taken off after he pitches anywhere between 100-120 pitches in one night and is given about weeks(?) rest as per the rotation. Even under the worst conditions a pitcher won't pitch without the normal rest. Such calculations result in better fitness of these players. In cricket, How many overs can a fast bowler bowl on the trot/in a day before he risks an injury? I've also noticed that in baseball, between innings, pitchers wrap their bowling arm with a towel to keep it warm. Its not any different from when a bowler in cricket bowls his spell and then goes to field at the boundary; perhaps wearing some sort of added thermalwear on the bowling arm would help. Its time we look into these things, perhaps learn a lesson from other sports and pay more attention to burn out.

  • Taufiq Yiusuf on January 25, 2007, 17:49 GMT

    There seems to be problem with our players when it comes to fitness commitment,i.e how to follow the fitness rules by the book as the other non-asian players do it. I think there compensation should tied to there fitness level i.e PCB should develop a guideline for each player according to thier physical shape,strick schedule of physical exercise by physio and food as provided by the nutritions . There should be a strick discipline in place to monitor there activities and if they are in violation they should be penalised. This will not eliminate the genuine injury but through regular disciplned exercise and food intake will produce enough resistance in the body to avoid or speed up the genuine injury. There is a famous saying " prevention is better than cure.

    PS Dr Nasim Ashraf is a medical doctor and lived and practice medicine for 30 years in the USA. He should come up with strict rules on the mandotary fitness program for the players.

    Goodluck in the third test INZI

    Taufiq Yusuf

    Oakville, Ontatio CANADA

  • ZAHEER SUFI on January 25, 2007, 17:46 GMT

    Modern day employment opportunities come with state of the art medical and mental coverages for employees .PCB is making mega bucks now a days and an ample amount should be dedicated to set up team of experts in sports science who will work with our athletes at a regular basis .Hodge podge and knee jerk mechanisms are days of past,If Pakistan wants to strive for the best in cricket then lets give our players the best they deserve and hire best eperts from sports medcine. Zaheer Sufi

  • umair on January 25, 2007, 17:40 GMT

    well my wish is all team memeber get work hard and all palyers have gr8 unity with all palyers shoib bahi ur a big striker of pakistan attack be fit all people get prayer about ur fitness

  • Dr NAWAZ on January 25, 2007, 17:34 GMT

    Before the start of Pak.vs South Africa series PCB chairman claimed on television interview that fitness problem among players have been solved for ever.I did not beleive it.Now a days watching live match body language of players will tell the tale.Sports medicine is well advanced and does keep players in shape.It is also the full responsibilty of players to keep themselves upto the mark and that needs awareness and education.No one needs number or crowds of medical personnals around.There is no need of inclusion unfit or depleted players.

  • sharoz on January 25, 2007, 17:26 GMT

    hmm i totally agree with kamran.Look its really clear : pakistani players have a tendancy to get injured.And i blame them.They just arent professional enough.Have a look at Inzamam hes HUGE! the same with yousuf and shoaib.I thnk the PCB is partly to be blamed as well .Its just the whole system.Have a look at Shoaib akhtar: hes huge he smokes regularly and drinks .Then theres Razzak.We all knw what happened during the tour of aus.Its just pathetic! there was a time once during the tour to india when shoaib akhtar and many of our fast bowlers were injured.We had to open the bowling with sami and razzak!i thnk Sami younis khan and akmal are the only fit ppl in the pak team.And now Asif.And maybe afridi.Something needs to be done.Maybe the whole medical team should be changed.The players should be given specific diet charts and stuff.

  • Nimesh Patel from New Jersey on January 25, 2007, 17:21 GMT

    Honestly speaking, mentality is the mother of all issues in the sub-continent. Players don't want to become trained professionals and live the dream they cherish all the time. Even western teams have differences among them, but players tend to become more professional with time and take full responsibilites for their act. Even though our team players get the opportunity to learn from their influence, they don't because they are too busy with their so called "personal life". The whole system of management, players and media is to be blamed for all the mess.

  • Najim Saqib on January 25, 2007, 17:18 GMT

    Kamran ... what is the deal with your unconditional support for the idiot we call Shoib. Please by now everyone who has any logic left in them know that this guy is a disaster. He should be fined for walking into a cricket match even as a spectator. As Pakistanis we should realize that sometimes people with talent but no brains are more destructive to the cause then they are worth!! I think its about time that Shoib's fan club especially in the media stop supporting him and move on the better things...

  • MastanKhan on January 25, 2007, 17:16 GMT

    Hi, Most people who have not jogged for long distances donot know or realize that that a heavy/soft ground can literally kill an athlete who has been practising on hard surfaces like the pakistani grounds. The switch-over takes time for a young and fit athlete but if you are in your 30's and already prone to injuries, it is not easy. Some of you might remember Kevin Peterson's hamstring injury in australia during the world eleven one day matches while running on the heavy turf with long spikes. As Imran Khan stated, Shoaib should have been taken with the team right from the gitgo. The first ten days would have prepared him well for the 2nd test match.

  • akhlaq qureshi on January 25, 2007, 17:07 GMT

    No doubt it is right, lack of keeping themselves fit being professional sportsman but there is lack of guidance and institutions from where the players can attend and ask for the betterment of their physics and fitness to be comparable with others. There is no institute other than the only PCB and restircted Academy, to whom the present and future new palyers can attend to get guidance and opinion. In this concern whe have suffered few months before in Dupe Test. So some private concerns can come ahead and establish like schools and institutions and Governement should encourage in this regard. Thanks.

  • Danish Khan on January 25, 2007, 16:58 GMT

    "The simple question I ask is would a business tolerate such a dismal success rate?"...A lot can be read in between these lines, I just hope the person that should be able to read them actually does for the betterment of the health of the players.

  • JUN8 on January 25, 2007, 16:57 GMT

    It's a question us Pakistani supporters ask time and time again.

    I have my own personal theory and believe this has more to do with our mentality as Asians. If there is one thing Desi's do not enjoy then it is running around the pitch for a quick warm up. Though I will be the first to agree that I am no physiotherapist I doubt we ever do the basics such as warm ups or warm downs, stretches. Simple routines that prevent cramp, hernias, and other injuries.

    When was the last time you ever saw a Pakistani fielder run whole heartedly for a ball to stop a boundary, let alone try to dive to stop it in the first place? We casually run purely to collect the ball from the boundary. With the Aussies and even English you have at least two players who are willing to chase, stop, collect and throw; a joint team effort.

    How many times have you seen Pakistani Batsman require runners simply because they do not have enough energy or stamina or have cramps?

    I recall Pakistan’s recent visit to England. Whilst preparing to play during the infamous Oval test, they decided to maintain their tradition of ordering food from their usual curry house in Southall as they have customarily done, much to the delight of the curry house owner who was more than happy to share this………..Why would you be eating curries during a five day test I ask myself? Now I’m sure the food was divine and as an avid connoisseur of the curry I do enjoy a trip to Southall to grab one myself too. However, I’m not likely to be chasing a ball up and down the pitch for the next 5 days am I?

    The fact I am making is simple. Our mindset as Pakistani players is purely based on batting and Bowling. Fitness, fielding, diet and Wicket Keeping (probably answers why we have never really had a natural wicket keeper) seem to play no pivotal role in the player’s minds which is a real shame. I’m sure when Bob Woolmer took over the helm he was shocked at our mentality and complete laziness. Though he has tried, and rightly so, to implement a fitness and diet regime, there was never any chance of this being an over night success.

  • zahid from Dera Ismail Khan on January 25, 2007, 16:50 GMT

    you are right.these injuries will badly affect Pakistan's performance in world cup.

  • nasir on January 25, 2007, 16:49 GMT

    I think injuries are just a part and parcel of sports life today. Remember the culture of physical fitness is a very new concept of life in Pakistan and is only now making some inroads to the sportsment involved. Other countries made it a regimen many decades ago.

    Even then, every individuals body is different. In Pakistan, basic physical examinations should be ideitified at junior levels so players with arm, back, leg or foot problems could be identified and advised early on in their careers. Furthermore, nutiritional education should be made compulsory for sportsmen at a very early age so that it becomes a part of their development. This in turn will produce fitter and stronger cricketers in a decade or so. Even if the board hires the best docotrs and physios I think it is too late to change Akhter and a few injury prone people in the team. What should have happened is Akhter only be allwoed in important tours and crucial one-day games. Even now certain players have to be preserved to prolong their careers.

    The silver lining in all these scenarios is that other players get an oppurtunity to shine. Rana Naved, Shahid Nazir, Mohammed Sami are a case in point. They all came to prominence or resurrected their careers due to someone's injury. Recent other prominent examples are Sreesanth, Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds and Alistair Campbell.

    The important of physical fitness should be stressed on the players as their absence can hand their place to someone else. Whether the incomng player can availthat chance is another challenge all together.

  • Shiraz on January 25, 2007, 16:45 GMT

    Pakistan has no clue on Physical , well being for players or maintaining two competitive rosters.

    They discover 1-2 bowlers and then run them to ground

    Shoib Aktar is what will happen to Mohammed Asif , as long as you are between ages of 20-24 your body will take the stress - when you reach 28-32 You get unceremonously dumped by PCB

    Macgraw , is a prime example of how a player 36 years old is kepts primed and available and used properly

    Fast bowlers are like Sports car, they go fast but they need pit stops after 10 laps or so.

    Now as for Shoib Malik my personal opinion is that he out performed his self as a #3 Real replacement for Inzimam and Younis Khan and even survived the Opening

    Shoiab Malik and Asim Kamal are two of the finest batsmen in Pakistani team and one is injured and the second is only given chance in Test Cricket.

    In all honestly

    Mohammed Hafiz has proved to be a great fit in opening role good for 30-40 runs, and with Salman Butt can give Pakistan a great start.

    Shoaib Malik shoud play #3 as he is a genuine player at this role as a batsmen he is so confident when he is up there.

  • khalid ahmed from Bahrain on January 25, 2007, 16:28 GMT

    I tend to agree with you, but we being a Pakistani have some responsibilities to poject Pakistans image in all fields. As sportsman is considered a massenger of his country, he is bound to present himself in a most dignified manner. The player like Shoaib Akhter who goes unfit every time once he is required to Pakistan team. Just remember the Indian team visit to Pakistan, where he got unfit in the first test. He always become fit, once he is outside the field. This is the high time to get rid of his services for ever. It goes for those players also who play for themself not for PAKISTAN. We have sufficient telent to make a Pakistan Eleven. Thanks

  • Javed Shah (In South Africa) on January 25, 2007, 16:21 GMT

    I would certainly agree that the Pakistani players are quite unfit for professional sportsmen. Recently, at Port Elizabeth on the 4th day of the 2nd test match, my wife and I stayed back at the cricket ground in order to meet Paul DeMott, who is an old friend, and also the Assistant Groudsperson at the ground. While we were waiting, we saw 4 Pakistani players, namely Shoaib Akhtar, Rana Naveed Ul Hassan, Asim Kamal and Shahid Nazir, all having a smoke outside Gate 3, behind the main pavillion. I was quite surprised to see them smoking in public, firstly I think its quite unhealthy to begin with, and secondly its quite a poor example to do so in a cricket stadium, where there are bound to be cameras and young people mixing about. My point therefore is this, if these people dont care about their own health and smoke tobacco, despite being professional cricketers, then imagine how lightly they take the rest of their fitness drills or requirements. I would also have thought that Shoaib Akhtar for one would have been ashamed of himself, one for letting his team down, and two for his public spat with Bob Woolmer which was disgraceful and was played over and over again here by the tv networks, but no - he did not seem to care at all. He was busy smoking outside the stadium, laughing with Rana Naveed and Asim Kamal in particular, and did not seem to have a care in the world. Is this the type of player, Pakistan want representing their country? I hope not.

  • Atif Yousuf on January 25, 2007, 16:20 GMT

    I agree with everything Kamran has to offer in his latest blog. Adding to all this I would personally like to inform PCB that if they dont get there act together and look after the players' health and well being in a better way like the other tougher teams of the world as Australia and South Africa, then I am sorry to say Pakistan cricket is just going downhill. They need to get help and learn better medical awareness and injury avoidance programmes put in place by Australian and South AFrican Cricket Boards. I quote this again for specially PCB through this blog of Kamran, "Those nations or organisations who dont learn from there past mistakes are always doomed to disaster". The people working on a higher level of PCB including there medical board are just useless and as i would say not fit to carry there jobs on in a high tech and rapidly fast paced 21st century worldwide cricket. PCB GROW UP OR JUST THROW UP !!!!

  • Noman Aziz on January 25, 2007, 16:03 GMT

    Shoaib being unfit is apparently due his heavy theighs which add extra strain on his muscles resulting a hamstring everynow and then. No doobt shoaib's talent is priceless and his name in the team could threaten any opposition however his agression which seem to have brought him success is unfortunately the very reason for his regular unfitness. Had he listened to Imran Khan early in his career to cut his runup he probably wouldve been a more fitter player.

  • Asad on January 25, 2007, 15:56 GMT

    The long list of injuries to Pakistani cricket players in recent times does bring one to question the efficacy of our medical staff (people who are paid to make sure that players stay fit and recover quickly when they are unfit). However, injuries are a fact of life for professional sportsmen, and to be truly successful they have to adopt a regular exercise and fitness regimen that helps them cope with and recover from their injuries.

    If a Pakistani cricketer, God forbid, breaks his arm while making a diving save in the field (like Muralitharan did) I would sympathize with him and appreciate his efforts to recover and return to the game quickly. However, if a player bowls and bats in one innings of a test and suddenly realizes he is unfit to bowl while sitting in the dressing room, my feelings are closer to disgust. Why can’t such cricketers be like our Pakistani polo player who broke his tooth while playing against India and still kept fighting the pain to take us to victory?

  • Dr Kashif Ashraf on January 25, 2007, 15:56 GMT

    Kamran, how much more desperate can we be entering the deciding test. A country looking for a third wicket taking fast bowler (with due respect to Rana Naved and Shahid Nazir) against a good batting side! Those who have the ability are not fit and those fit do not possess the ability to bowl teams out. A curse on Pakistan. Talk about the amount of cricket and just look at the number of tests we play compared to other teams and the tough requirements of their first class cricket. Agreed that fast bowlers break down, but not so often. Shoaib and Gul are fit for one and then unfit for two series. Inzi's body (back), it is clear can no longer take the toll of 5 day games. He is off the field for half of our bowling innings. M Yousuf does not inspire athleticism on the field. Everybody has to pull their weight along. It is quite clear that fitness and concentration/mental strength go hand in hand. I have always believed that the Australians are so good and consistent a team because of extremely high alround fitness levels. Dr K Ashraf, UK

  • syed sibte hassan shah on January 25, 2007, 15:51 GMT

    Dear Abbasi, indeed, you know what is behind of all this Drrrrrama. Who is injured or not and why. Why there was an argument between Bob and Shoaib. He thinks being a fastest bowler of the cricket world, he has the right to dictate while others don't accept. Others are not the whole team, some of them are behind Shoaib. There is no more national interest due to this dirty politics. Either we should find another suitable attack or condemn the politics for national interest. We do not have much time since the world cup is inching closer. We know naveed and Sami and Sahid are not match winning bowler but Asif and Shoaib. We should gamble on a new comer rather than sami, naveed or shahid, may be, or patch up the torn pitch. Thanks for listening my comments worthy or not.

  • hamidsamar on January 25, 2007, 15:36 GMT

    my name os hamid samar form afghanistan i have qeustion is the shoib is paliying in 3 test or no and also is the afridi is caming on oned day or plz

  • Touqeer Tariq on January 25, 2007, 15:34 GMT

    What about the England Team? They have got players unfit since last year/year and a half and nobody says that their medical system is wrong.Vaughn, Flintof, Jones, Trescothic, K.P...

    What about Shane Watson in Australia? whenevr we found that he is going to be in O'z team, he got unfit. Was it also case of poor medical facilities? What about McGrath? he remained unfit for whole year. Can you tell me that was it due to the medical system?

    What about the whole 90's in Pakistan Cricket? Did we see so many injuries at that time? Can anybody remember that how many times Wasim or Waqar or any other strike bowler went out of game in the middle due to the injury?

    Now tell me how many times Shoaib Akhter has done that? I can count atleast 4 times when he left the match in the middle. It means something wrong with the players, not with the system.

    I mean guys its evedent to all that Shoaib HAS NOT played that much cricket that we say that overdose of cricket is making him unfit. Niether Umar Gul has played that much.

    Players should learn that how they should remain fit. A Dr can only help to be fit but if you keep getting unfit at crucial stages then what can he do?

    We should tell the Players that See, we are giving you this contract and we Want you to play atleast these number of games or otherwise you will NOT get any penny. I am 100% that from next year you will see that noby will miss required number of matches. Let's give it a try Mr P.C.B...

  • Unni on January 25, 2007, 15:32 GMT

    Kamran - Being from the medical field, why dont u apply as a physio of the Pak team. Surely you can do no worse than their previous physios

    Also we can get a few more juicy tit-bits on Shoaib's injuries - real or faked etc

  • Amer Hussain on January 25, 2007, 15:31 GMT

    I agree with what you say, but the players must also take some of the blame - Shoaib is a great cricketer no doubt, but he was chomping at the bit to go to South Africa, kept declaring himself fit and lo and behold, he breaks down again (sounds a bit like my wife's car!).

    What can the PCB do Kamran? If they didn't have a medical board, and a number of specialists, if they didn't pay for overseas treatment for our stars, if they were all lawyers instead of doctors, would you still be so against them? You probably wouldn't for fear of legal repercussions, but we would still have injured players and for that you would continue to be unhappy.

    So let us ignore those that are unfit, give them the opportunity to recuperate and make sure our back up has the same skill levels and determination as the missing players to enable Pakistan to succeed. With the strength we have as a side we are doing well at the moment, but to get consistency and compete at the highest levels, we need a broad pool of talent to pick from. So maybe that is where the PCB should concentrate their efforts in my humble opinion.

  • KJ on January 25, 2007, 15:25 GMT

    Kamran, I am afraid your comments are pure conjecture and no validity behind them. Physical fitness is not rocket science. As you said, this is a shrinking world and treatment for different ailments is no secret. Let's face it. Some Pakistani players are prone to injury, whatever treatment they get. There are cricketers and there are athletes. If you can be both, great, but not everyone is. Clearly Shoaib Akhter is not an athlete. Nor are Vaughan or Bond, as their injuries prove. It is the body and not the body of doctors that is to blame.

  • SuperSami on January 25, 2007, 15:23 GMT

    The PCB does have an abysmal record in terms of player injuries but you can't put the blame solely on the medical management, the selectors and team management have to share the blame also.

    Take Umar Gul for example, he bowled the bulk of the overs in the test series against the West Indies, wouldn't it have been wise to rest him from the ODI's and domestic matches considering we had a tough tour to SA and the world cup fast approaching.

    Most of the injuries are to fast bowlers and the management have a history of bowling them into the ground, a simple rotation policy could go a long way in preventing most of these injuries.

  • farjad on January 25, 2007, 15:19 GMT

    Can someone tell me that why does shoaib get into to problems?I am a big fan of shoaib i m very sorry do say that i think shoaib has missed more ODI then he has played.some people say that it is not sure that he will play for the world cup.if he does not play for that will be a lost For the pakistani team.I will just like to say is that to shoaib fan that pray for him that he get al fit to play the series that is happening soth africa then play the world CUP.Remember that Pakistan's first match is against west indies the host.

  • Sajjad on January 25, 2007, 15:19 GMT

    I don't think so. Couple of the New Zealand players recently joined the squad. They were not initially selected because of the fitness issue. Allrounder Adams has been sent home recently because of the Injury problems.

    Since winning the Ashes series last year, England lost almost half of the winning squad due to injuries.

    Balaji and Nehra were sidelined because of the injuries.

    WI didn't include couple of key players (including Sarawan) for the tour of India and now Lara is also unfit.

    The examples goes on and on.

    I think this problem is everywhere.

    In fact when South Africa was touring Australia a year ago, it was regarded as one of the best series of the current time but one after another all of the key South African bowlers went back to SA due to injuries (including Pollack, Ntini, Nel, etc.)

    So I don't agree with your analysis.

    On the other hand, Australia is the most fit team in the world. I don't know how they manage to do that.

  • Zubair on January 25, 2007, 15:17 GMT

    That was a great article. What the PCB needs to do first is hire a doctor to treat their doctors.. ie management.

  • Shiraz (Houston, USA) on January 25, 2007, 15:12 GMT

    I think it is really sad to see Pakistan players dropping like flies in such an important series and so close to world cup. They definitely lack the fitness at this point and it would be a miracle to see them pull off the world cup. PCB doctors and management and specially the players need to look at how the Australians go about such issues and how they are soo supremely fit, no wonder Australia is still the fav to make it three in a row at the world cup.

  • Saahil on January 25, 2007, 15:08 GMT

    Pakistan does have a big injury prone side. I am a indian myself, and love the talent that Pakistan has. I think Pakistan can challenge Australia, in bowling, if the pakistani bowlers r fit. But what is the core problem of the injury of the players, that PCB needs to find out. World Cup is going to here, in less than 2 months from now.

    good blog mate

    Cheers

  • Fakhar on January 25, 2007, 15:00 GMT

    Hi, I do agree with you Kamran. Not just that PCB have a non professional medical board, they are the most secret and closed doors cricket entity in the world. There are no possibilities for a common fan to contact any official of the PCB in order to make any suggestions or demand any scrutiny of them. This is undemocratic and unhealthy for our cricket future. Fakhar,Sweden.

  • Arif Nazir on January 25, 2007, 14:57 GMT

    I am a physician myself. I am going to act as a devila's advocate here. I think the problems we are seeing here are stemming from poor administration than poor medical advice. Doctors have to follow the patients history to make important secisions so in the end reponsibiltiy does lie with the patients if they are unable to provide an accurate account of the problem As we see more indiscipline in the players and administration we see breakdown of fitness also. If players lie about how they feel, doctors cant help much. Fitness tests cannot guarantee anything. They might not even come close to inducing stresses that a real game would. I think that too much competitiveness in the current days is making players make wrong choices for them. Also poor administration is responsible for this "air of urgency" in the minds of the players who are afraid to take 'time off' lest they will be :out of mind- out of sight"

  • Arif Younus on January 25, 2007, 14:54 GMT

    Assalam-o-alaikum Kamran Bhai ! I am in total agreement with all your words . As much as I like President Musharraf for most of his work , the adhocism in the PCB is subject to ridicule .

    No offenses to DOCTOR Naseem Ashraf , but he certainly cannot be called a MERIT selection (nor was Lt. Tauqeer Zia or Shahriyarr Khan ).

    In my sincere opinion , until the PCB is run like a corporate with merit fulfilled for each and every job description .. these situation will keep on occuring - be it the DOPING SAGA or the (non)medical experts.

    It also doesnt help if the country's leading(and perhaps only) Sports medicine expert gets assasinated (but again that is another story).

    Perhaps , this is what makes Pakistan and its cricket all the more interesting ; but definately a time for a change .

    Well written !

    Wassalam

  • Haris Izhar on January 25, 2007, 14:52 GMT

    Muhammad Zahid is a perfect example. There is another problem with Pakistan cricket , that is , when dont want a player to play they declare him unfit , a fine example is A. Razzaq who is not injured but declared so.

  • Ahmad Siddiqui on January 25, 2007, 14:49 GMT

    Parvez Musharraf is running PCB under his own authority ( not under sports ministry ) and trying to control it knowing he knows nothing about word sports. Unlike past, this time we had given non-army head of PCB but once again a non elected, un-related person who knows very little about managing conflicts, relationships and protecting interest of stakeholders. Once again we are paying price of being run by adhocism for last 7 years and we should continue to pay this. This is a bi-product of dictatorship that we have in Pakistan.

  • Bilal on January 25, 2007, 14:48 GMT

    well done.u r the only one who always come up with the loop holes that our cricket structure lack. i agree with u 100%. keep up the good work

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on January 25, 2007, 14:48 GMT

    The interesting point is that Dr. Nasim Ashraf is a US qualified physician and has lived there for a large part of his professional career. Surely he knows of the speciality field known as sports medicine. Maybe instead of spending hundreds of thousands of USD on coaches and trainers and physio's etc. We could see if we can hire a Dr. of sports medicine to be permanently attached with the team. I am sure that with the thousands of Pakistani physicians active in the US you could find 1 with the necessary qualifications who would be willing to take up the job. As someone with great connections to APPNA (All Pakistan Physicians Assoc. of North Am) I am sure Dr. Ashraf will know where to start looking.

  • Irfan Safdar on January 25, 2007, 14:44 GMT

    I think the players have to take the responsibility of looking after themselves. Some how the culture in the Pakistani Camp is not very fitness friendly.Being in the medical profession myself i know that the compliance has to come from the players.If you are professional Player you have to be responsible for yourwell being.

  • Zed Fazel on January 25, 2007, 14:40 GMT

    The problem is not as simple as you try to make it. The fitness culture and diet is different in the West(includes South Africa) than in the Sub-Continent. The life-style is different. The facilities are different. In simple terms, Pakistan has not been able to up it's fitness level to that of a more professionally and ruthless regime in Australia, South Africa. It is easily seen in the level of fielding between these two teams at the top and the rest of the teams much below. So what is required is a more commitment and better grounds and facilities to keep players fit. Slide dives are easier done in England,Australia,New Zealand, and South Africa because the ground are well grassed and have cushioning effect. Pakistan grounds are much bare and harder. And if you notice, major injuries are ankle,knee and elbows. Therefore, basically it is different culture,facilities and lifestyle.There is also too much cricket. I am sure doctors in Pakistan are quite capable to treat these ailments and do not require a genious to sort these out. A factory machinery doing 3 shifts a day will require more on maintenance/repairs than a one doing a single shift. It is as simple as that.

  • usama on January 25, 2007, 14:40 GMT

    I readily agree with you Kamran.Pakistan players suffer most injuries than any other players in other teams.I think hardly there is any series in which pakistan team has full team and bench strength with no regular player injured,especially bowling in which dream trio of Umar gul,Shoaib Akhtar and MOhammed Asif is yet to play

  • Tony on January 25, 2007, 14:39 GMT

    True...Very True

  • Imran Quraishi on January 25, 2007, 14:13 GMT

    The problem of fitness will always be there with our team. Fitness problems and Pakistan bowlers go hand in hand. I am 41 now and ever since I started following Pakistan cricket I have seen this happen all the time over and over again with each and every bowler. It happened with Imran Khan all the time and with a lot of other bowlers.This problem will remain with our fast bowlers cuz their physical fitness is not what it is supposed to be. They have to do a lot of weight training along with other exercises so that their muscle strength and mass can develop. Also, they need to rest in crucial matches by getting enough sleep at night time and not party all night.

  • Robert on January 25, 2007, 13:34 GMT

    Injuries are pretty much rife in every national team these days. I remember back to when Alan Donald started numerous tests and never finished them.

    Heard it a million times by now... but, possibly there is just too much cricket being played? I look at the sorry state of the New Zealand side who themselves just getting over quite a long list of injuries. England who after winning the ashes were reduced to Flintoff as captain because everyone else was injured.

    Possibly the stats will show one thing, too many injuries are simply a result of too many matches.

  • Arif on January 25, 2007, 13:16 GMT

    Taking care of oneself requires know-how that may be separate from the stock education one goes through in one's academia. This word of mouth and extra knowledge sessions is something that happens very frequently in the extra-Pakistan sports world. The Pakistani's rely on the age old method of "listening" to one's body to tell if it is getting injured or not. This clearly has a low success rate. "Preventative injury" needs to be practiced more diligently. Another reason (for most of the injury prone are our fast bowlers) is the extra "passion" or zeal that Pakistani pacemen bowl with either to get extra pace or to substitute "coached" skills. In Pakistan bowlers are self taught and thus are exposed to issues that can develop because of lack of such cricketing acumen. The reasons thus are many... A forceful regimen or training for Health and fitness needs to be part of their training... perhaps once they know their bodies well enough, the trainers can back-off...

  • Ash Zes on January 25, 2007, 13:07 GMT

    Reasons for fitness problems are very obvious. Everyone wants a lot without putting in much effort. Gone are the days when young crickets used to get up early in the morning and go out for running.

    While studying in UK and during his early career days, Imran used to go out for running early in the morning during winter when no one could even imagined to get out of their bed. Hence, it was no wonder that he kept himself fighting fit till the age of 40 when he led Pakistan in WC 1992. Even today, I consider Imran much fitter than many of our present days cricketers.

    Today a couple of hours a week appear enough physical work out. Another reason is all so called star cricketers prefer not to play domestic cricket and that’s why their body are not fit enough to sustain extra burden.

    Many people believe there is too much cricket that is the main cause of player’s breakdown. I don’t think so. Take example of Shoaib Akhtar or Mohammad Yousef? How many days did the play cricket (including Test, ODI and First Class) in 2006 and compare this with no. of days that Imran Zaheer or Miandad used to play during 1980s. Of course Zaheer, Imran and Miandad played more cricket (all forms of cricket) per year than the current players. So the point is our cricketers (they are all professional and they get huge money, hence any complain is not acceptable) must play all domestic cricket and should not only prefer to play international cricket. This is the only way to keep fit.

    All Australians, Englishmen and SA players play domestic cricket. What is the problem with our cricketers?

  • Mohin on January 25, 2007, 12:20 GMT

    Akthar is at it again, the druggie cannot be controlled and fining him for his spat with Woolmer in not enough - he should be banned for life and Pakistan cricket will be better for it - I am sure he is the bad influence on Asif (if you are looking for excuses).

  • Hassan Mahmood on January 25, 2007, 11:43 GMT

    It's gone beyond the point of ridiculous. It's now absolutely disgraceful. How Asif and Rana did not play in the England series (except Oval for Asif) after playing county cricket is a joke.

    Now Shoaib breaks down in a match and Gul won't play until the World Cup, where he probably won't be needed.

    Pakistan need to sort this out: I was at Old Trafford and Headingley and most thought that Pakistan were awful. If only they saw our best side I thought.

  • Saqib on January 25, 2007, 11:37 GMT

    I believe you are 100% right

    it is true we have very good bowling strength but the fact of the matter is that they have to be fit also half fit bowlers are very very likly to be injured after bowling few overs

  • Sameen Rana on January 25, 2007, 11:21 GMT

    Agreed , You are right most of the decisions in Pakistan, weather cricket or otherwise is taken by few people .. Once they dropped shoaib on fitness ground how can he be ok only after playing one match that too not finished .. Because PCB chairman thought he is fit ..Same is the case of Umar Gul why they allowed him to go with the tem when he was carrying an injury ..

    Pakistan will surly suffer because of this mismanagement in third test where inzy has to pay for selector / PCB mistakes

  • Noman Yousuf on January 25, 2007, 11:10 GMT

    Nail on the head! The way players have emerged back from injury in other countries (barring New Zealand and England, whose fitness record, I believe, is worse than Pakistan) compared to the on-going injury saga in Pakistan should embarrass those so-called experts. Injuries are part and parcel of modern day sports but modern developments in the field of medicine are there to prevent and cure them rapidly. Take one Brett Lee for example, once an injury prone bowler who has turned into a wonderful athlete. And how about a look at the recovery of Shaun Pollock. Pakistani cricketers, especially fast bowlers deserve a lot better treatment and there's definitely something wrong with medical system of PCB. PCB should analyze and cure the system at its earliest.

    Cheers!

  • M.Imran Ansari on January 25, 2007, 10:41 GMT

    Lets accept the fact that injuries are part and parcel of any sportsman's career. But to counter it, each Board has their guidelines for physical workout already set out so that the heavy workload does not take its toll on the players. Seems like Pakistan Cricket Board has no such policies or procedures in place, which is clearly affecting the team balance. It will be very unfortunate if Pakistan misses out on its front line attack in World Cup, which is a possibility considering the current situation. I am expecting Bob Woolmer to take some positive steps to make some improvements in this regard. I hope sanity prevails & policy of favouritism comes to an end.

  • Shehzad Ghani on January 25, 2007, 10:31 GMT

    Yes, it is frustrating for everyone. Every tour Pakistan has 3-4 front-line bowlers injured. Right now, Umar, Shoaib, Shabbir are injured which makes it 3 out of 4 best fast bowlers in Pakistan.

  • Malik on January 25, 2007, 10:19 GMT

    Mate, i disagree! Pakistan, with its medical problems is no way near England. Compare the facilities of both countries to start with Simon Jones whos getting the first class treatment has been away from the team for nearly 2 years. In pakistan they come bak from a 1st degree injury just after 6 months the latest. I think selectors are to blame for bringing unfit players in the team.

  • Sameer on January 25, 2007, 10:02 GMT

    Just like to say, i think ur right Kamran. Australia are SOOO FARRR ahead of every other country, in terms of training, professionalism, techniques, training, injury and player management its unbeleivable!

    ALL WE NEED IS A SINGLE CENTRE, which would be a training, fitness, diet and a SPORTS educational resource. Playing sports at WORLD level, means the players have to be WORLD class too.. in their behaviour, in their game and their personal care for their bodies.

    salaam, Pak fan who at the moment is not sure if we as a country and team, are going up or DOWN !?

  • Suhail Khan on January 25, 2007, 9:56 GMT

    Kamran, As usual you have picked on a very pertinent topic. It has been a mystery for me for last many years why our players break down in large numbers especially when on foreign trips. This current pattern is not new. If you go 8-10 years back, you will find similar list of injuries on trips to Australia and S. Africa. I am not sure why this has been the case. Surely our players, and in general players from sub-continent, do not have the same fitness levels as others. In our case, this is compounded by (a) lack of professional approach on part of authorities, and (b) lack of responsible (and professional) behaviour on part of the players themselves. India has taken great strides in this area by adopting a very professional fitness regime. We are far from that level, despite having abundance of talent. We must recognise that even a well-run fitness regime can still not prevent injuries. Look at England team who has been plagued by injuries to several of their key players. India has not been that fortunate either. The difference is in the approach. You can't avoid bad luck, but you can avoid silly mistakes by being more professional. Judging from the number of foreign medical trips our injured players are sent to, I was under the impression there is no cure available in Pakistan. Good to know we have a medical board in place. What exactly is their utility is anybody's guess.

  • Dave Denton on January 25, 2007, 9:31 GMT

    Hi Kamran,

    I totally agree. Its time the PCB acted.

  • Mohammad Shaiq on January 25, 2007, 9:19 GMT

    No doubt Shoaib is one of the best pace bowlers of his time. Injuries to pace bowlers are something very common and Shoaib is no exception to it. If there is any exception in Shoaib’s case, that is his temperament to handle these situation. He does not know how to handle and get along with 1) team management 2) fellow players 3) media and 4) most importantly with himself at times when lot of diplomacy is needed. Basically his temperamental capabilities do not match with his bowling capabilities. Instead of physio it is psycho ….!!! (I think so and wish to be wrong)

  • Javed Akhtar, Islamabad, Pakistan on January 25, 2007, 9:18 GMT

    I think an International level Cricketer is a good physio of himself. The physical fitness can be achieved with devotion and passion towards all exercises not only in Gym but also outside. The tragedy with Pakistani players is that they prefer doing exercise in Gyms and not jogging or such exercises outside Gym.

    I have seen only a few Australian or South African players who use Gym rather they are involved in outdoor exercises, light to hard, as required at this level.

    I believe our players should take examples of their Australian or South African counter parts who are far more fit than them. Through achieving this fitness competition they can match these teams at grounds also.

  • Sakul Gupta on January 25, 2007, 9:17 GMT

    I guess one of teh best things taht can be done now is to send in Azar Mahmood as a replacement for the injured folks for both the test & one-day teams. He is a strong, capable experienced lad. Guess his 5-for's in teh recent domestic matches should make him a strong contender for the wold cup team. An ace all rounder, maybe captianship material too. What happened to Saqlain Mushtaq. How do revolutionary, the originals go missing in the Pak team. & Wasim Akram could be invited to coach the Pakistan team. One must harness the great talent available or one may loose it to minnows. Let the best Win

  • Imtiaz Ahmed on January 25, 2007, 9:13 GMT

    The game of international cricket has grown and become more hectic over the last few years. And there are alot of teams including Pakistan failing to cope with the demands of modern day cricket. I can pick a no. of player from the last century that would not find themselves fully fit, if exposed to modern day cricket. A few names like Ian Botham, G Gooch, Salim Malik and Daleep Mendis come to mind. The game has changed, and so have the demands posted on today's players and the relevant teams.

    Cricket has to learn a few lessons from European club football for example. The players need education, the relevant systems need to be in place. The lessons from the past need to be learnt, the players can be criticised for bad performances, but not for being injured. I think cricket is learning its lessons but no at a speed it should. And as always when it comes to systems, discipline and taking care of the biggest asset (the players), Pakistan is lagging behind everyone else.

    Regards,

    Imtiaz - Lancashire, England.

  • Raza on January 25, 2007, 8:56 GMT

    Once the players start making the big money, they stop proper training and exercise regimens so injuries are the natural consequence.

  • Khalil on January 25, 2007, 8:52 GMT

    I agree Kamran. I find it astounding that in this day and age this team seems to attract so many injuries. Surely there must be a solution to this debacle. With the technology we have today it is possible to look at every aspect of the players lifestyle, including eating habits and training regimes. Why this has not been done so far is beyond me. We also have 'bought in' doctors' and phsiotherapists' but again this seems to be to no avail. And as if to break down with an injury is not bad enough these players then get hauled before a Medical Commission who will judge to see if a) they are injured, b) for long they will be unavailable to play for c) how they can get fit again.

    Personally I think its to do with the fitness of the players. I remember Bob commenting on this when he first took over the role, in how unfit the Pakistan players were. It seems a fitness session is a few stretches and then a game football or touch rugby! These players need to be put through their paces, build up their fitness and the result will be, hopefully, staying injury free for longer periods.

  • Dr. Muhammad Imran on January 25, 2007, 8:47 GMT

    The problemetic area is clearly identified by Mr. Abbasi regarding the inefficiency of Pakistan Cricket Medical Board . When the board is spending million of rupees on a huge squad of trainer, physio, assistant physio and so on and so forth, can't it spend some on a doctor with a sports medicine degree and who proves his worth. I think the doctors on medical board should be evaluated for their eligibility for the job by an honest and efficent sports specialist and then only those should be kept who proves themselves fit for the job. The sports specialist can be any pakistani who does not charge in dollars or pounds. I am sure there will be enough of pakistani specialist willing to rendering their services to pakistan cricket. I am sure!!!1

  • Muhammed Kamran on January 25, 2007, 8:46 GMT

    Dear Kamran

    The only thing i want to point out is that the players need to feel professional about their well being as they are indeed professional cricketers, they seem to believe that it is board's responsibility to keep them fit. Amid the tight schedules and constant journeys they seem to go in a spin not recognizing the need to be on the money in their idle time. Secondly they need to be hnest with themselves and the authorities about their fitness and deal with it i can see cases of Abdul Razzak and Shoaib Mailk in particular that they need to recognoize when they are fit and when they need treatment they have been injured far too many time as professionals. The case of Akhter and Shabbir are of another type where very obviously the players were not continuing their regimn while they were out of action...i fear for M. Asif...

  • Rashed on January 25, 2007, 8:43 GMT

    PCB should re evaluate the Medical/fitness injury prevention process.

  • Ali Tahiri Surrey, Canada on January 25, 2007, 8:42 GMT

    What I see is unstrained behavour of the players who are no more patriots, may be except for afew. Had they been watching their 2nd hand while practicing in nets or playing domestic would have been in better physical state today. And instead of boarding injured ones it was inevitable to put fighting fit talent in the squad. Luckily Pakistan is rich in every aspect and PCB must sneak out a few minutes from excusing to ponder upon the weathered dismal hull of Pakistan Team! Picture this: Shoaib and Asif still fettered with those charges, Abdul-Razzaq and Gul still unfit, Shahid Nazir said to be unimpressive (he was very impressive though) and Shabbir could merely play 20/20- so what replacenemtns PCB selectors have had in consideration? Or they are happy with Kaneria to open the spells just as Arshad Khan had done this before. A World know about the ripeness of this land with respect to ready talent in all aspects of Cricket (except for fielding)and PCB selectors ended up selecting injured-unfit-no show kind of players. They should have been resting in rather than Out!

  • Salman Qureshi on January 25, 2007, 8:31 GMT

    You must be reading my mind. Less than ten minutes before I read your blog I was thinking how strange it is that:

    1. Shoaib Akhtar breaks down after bowling only 11 overs in the Second Test. 2. Umar Gul is being sent home without bowling a single over in the Tests while a few days ago he was supposedly ready to join the team. 3. Shabbir Ahmed breaks down during a trial practice even before he can be sent to South Africa.

    Is this normal?

  • mahmood on January 25, 2007, 8:27 GMT

    I think you ve hit bull's eye. PCB is to be blamed for not setting the systems right and consequently for drugs saga(at least in case of one player if not both) regards

  • J Ahmad on January 25, 2007, 8:27 GMT

    Kamran the first two doctors that you mention are PHD doctors and not medical as such.

  • Mian Gul Muhammed on January 25, 2007, 8:27 GMT

    You are very right Kamran when you say that present medical management system of PCB is not working and this needs to be addressed straigh away to improve situation. PCB needs to do something about the way it is being run otherwise we will always be at the threshold of problems. In my humble opionion if PCB takes the following measures the situation may improve in future. 1. It needs to introduce a corporate culture with in its working where if an employee does not perform as expected according to a jod description is liable for disciplinary accountibility. And such actions should be free from any favourtism. Dont forget players are employees of PCB. It is responsibility of all its employees to watch interest of PCB and Pakistan and no employee regardless of his position, status is bigger than the game, board and Pakistan. 2. PCB has also failed in grooming our players. We all know the kind of education our players have and that is a big minus as non educated people lack sense of responsibility. One migh argue that their main education and responsibility is to play cricket and they are good at it. No doubt but don't forget they are also our ambissidors all over the world and they need to project a positive image of Pakistan and its culture. They can only that once they have been informed and made aware of what is expected of them. PCB got many accadamies in the country where they identify and assist future players. At that level PCB should also help these players to improve their education (not necessarly academic education) to these guys. Don't forget most of the future stars will be coming from these institutions. PCB should be focusing on: discipline management, awareness about drugs, how to keep fit, healthy diet, on anf off ground behaviour, english language written as well spoken, interpersonal skills, their responsibilities as a future star. Players should be enforced to come to these classes and learn such techniques. 3. Players who are not behaving properly at present such as Shoiab should be sidelined for good as he is going to spil others as well.

    Good luck to Pakistani team for World Cup and the present South Africa tour.

    May allah give us the strength and sense to sort out evry mess from our country.

  • partha on January 25, 2007, 8:24 GMT

    Dear Kamran bhai you are right, but please do consider the following points

    a) The players need to be honest themselves. It is not the first time that Akhtar broke down mid match. Earlier people thought that he faked injuries, but now everyone knows that his body is not responding because he has become old and not taking care of his body well. b) The processes must be such that, even if the players are 80% fit, they should not be allowed to play. Now percentages are funny things, but the doctors and players should show more honesty. c) Thus If a player breaks down mid match after saying that he was fit, should be penalised by being dropped for atleast five matches. Here Munaf was shown the door, his attitude was questioned. In india except sachin tendulkar nobody has gotten away with injuries. Same must be applied in pakistan. I am a great fan of pakistan team, and it will be a shame if half fit players keep letting down the country time and again.

  • Kamran Zahid on January 25, 2007, 8:07 GMT

    There is always something casual associated with most things Pakistani. Even in professions where you need to be alert all the time, Pakistanis have a poor record. I am a Pakistani myself and I have had such a casual attitude towards life before. But it can be changed and all it requires is some kind of solid motivation. The need, I believe, is to relentlessly keep looking for that motivation. Once you find it, like I did, most problems get solved by themselves.

  • safeer on January 25, 2007, 8:06 GMT

    why our pakistani player so many injuy.

  • Dr. Hussain on January 25, 2007, 7:55 GMT

    Well Kamran its nice to hear something on this very important aspect of our cricket in which we are clearly behind the most of the cricket playing countries of the world. Everytime we get some hope in our team's performance and try to say "Yeh!! this is the time, no one can stop them from winning the match/series" and suddenly there is news about someone very important to the team can't play the series or next game even the same game... One about to think that this is now like a bulit train, non stop, bound for destination .... nothing can stop it now and suddenly someone from inside the train pushes button for emergency stop .... and suddenly everything changes. is't it like this?... I think the problem is not with our team but its something wrong with our nation (Thinking selfish most of the times). Just take a look on recent injury of "Shoaib Akhtar" and your mind will start throwing questions lots of lots of questions? can you understand this time who tried to push the panic button (Emergency Stop Command to bulit train bound for victory station).... PCB?, Shoaib? Woolmer? or Doctors.. If he was not fit enough to sustain the workload of a full match who declared him fit for the series? PCB, Doctor or Shoaib?..if its the decision of medical board then its the sin because they have tried to spoil the career of one of the most destructive bowler of world..If its PCB then I doubt the patriotism of bosses or someone onside PCB tried to send him just to give a scary night to INZI & woolmer,Or the least "Mr. RWP Express" has declared himself fit and after showing what he can do he immediatly declared himself unfit to put some pressure on Inzi, woolmer, PCB and most importantly on PAKISTAN?..I think there should be one decision making authority whoes decision would have to be final and in the National Interest. For this purpose who else do you want to decide about your health excpet your trusted, tried and successful health consultant. So i will stress upon PCB to finalize an independent medical panel and it should be allowed to make decisions on their professional skills and honesty to declare someone fit and to investigate whoes fit ot unfit. If someone is trying to declare himself fit/unfit he should be given some mental treatment as well....Long Live Pakistan...

  • Euceph Ahmed on January 25, 2007, 7:47 GMT

    Well, Mr. Abbasi, maybe we can narrow down your hypothesis if we cannot test it. You say that Pakistan has the biggest injury problem in international cricket. Perhaps we can say that Pakistani “bowlers”… actually, Pakistani “fast bowlers”… actually “the current Pakistani fast bowlers” have the biggest injury problem in world cricket. I could narrow it down further to just one Pakistani fast bowler, but I kind of have a hunch that you weren’t thinking of that particular one when you wrote this piece. You seem to allude more to Shabbir here than to Shoaib.

    To tell you the honest truth I can’t figure out the point that you’re trying to make here. On the one hand you seem to say that this is all a façade for something deeper going on between the players and the management. On the other, you seem to be saying that the injuries are real but mismanaged by the Board. All in all, you address the problem like most of us do anyway without presenting a solution.

    You have laid the blame squarely on the medical management of the PCB. My opinion is that it has much more to do with their financial management than anything else. There is very little the doctors can do if the players keep pulling fast ones on them. Let’s not forget that these are professional players and all the talk about national pride is fine for them until someone else reaches their price. They use the national team as a jumping board and they try to dictate their terms as soon as they have the confidence that they can make more by playing for some small English club. Fast bowlers especially know very well that their career-spans are limited so it makes sense for them to amass the maximum in the shortest possible time. Shoaib Akhtar has pulled these injury stunts too many times and found playing elsewhere for anyone to be fooled by him.

    What transpired in Shabbir Ahmed’s case? Escapes me. I’m not privy to any background info on this one so it’s hard to comment on it. Who pulled the plug on it and why is an interesting question. Poor Inzy seemed pretty confident, but someone had to burst his bubble. I wonder how the whole background drama will play itself out on the playing field in the third test.

    In reply to your question about whether a business would tolerate such a dismal success rate, I would like to say that if I were running the business and if I found out that a team member is faking an injury to blackmail me I would kick him in his behind so hard that the injury is either fixed or results in a permanent one!!!

    I’ll tell you one thing Mr. Abbasi. These problems will never go away as long as the focus of the management, fans, and the media is on winning matches rather than building a team. It is a daunting task I know, but it has been successfully done in many many sports all over the world.

  • Raheel Hashmi - Riyadh on January 25, 2007, 7:34 GMT

    First it is the primary responsibility of the players to keep themselves fit. They are professional players and not the bunch of street boys who are just enjoying in the middle.

    I assume that Pakistani players neither follow a standard diet plan nor they do any sort of gym during the off seasons.

    Secondly, PCB should hire a doctor specialized in Sports medicine and other related disciplines.

  • sundal on January 25, 2007, 7:30 GMT

    My question is that how many important series has Pakistan lost due to unavailibility of the super stars like Akhtar, Gul, Razaq, Malik. The series in England was lost only because our front line bowlers were not there to deal with English stick holders. The could not win the series against India in India, the series against Westindies in Westindies, and we will be damned if we lose series against South Africa now. Imganine, what would have happened if all our superstars we fit and available in all the series mentioned above. We would easily be threatening Australia's Top postion. And imagine that what Boost it would have given to the local cricket here in Pakistan. Finally, Imagine that what would be the prospects of Pakistan winning this forthcoming World Cup. But the sad news is that there was never that we never specialist doctor accomapining the World's most formidable bowling arsenal during all these important series.

  • Muhammad Ali Bilal on January 25, 2007, 7:30 GMT

    What is amazing about these injuries are that they are happening to the younger lot... I mean I would expect the older ones like Inzimam, Yusuf, Yunis to have these injuries because of their age but besides Shoaib who is 30 I think, the younger players like Shoaib Malik, Razza, Gul etc are being injured. Can anyone give me a reason for this?

  • Saqib on January 25, 2007, 7:22 GMT

    i think you are 100 % right if we have half fit team than how it will bring the succsses consistantly

  • Aleem on January 25, 2007, 7:21 GMT

    Spot on!

  • Afridi on January 25, 2007, 7:09 GMT

    well I totally agree with you.. but i think most of the injuries we have now a daiz is because we have too much cricket now a daizz... players plai so mani matches in a month dat dey r exhausted and get injuredd.. so i wont really blame daa management but what i would say is that the ICC should look at the calendar and give most of the teams rest after each series... rather den playin rite away

  • Ateeq Ahmed on January 25, 2007, 7:04 GMT

    Yes u r absolutly right. how long will this continue? we have been waiting for so long to see a fit team and the best combination. i think the players have more responsibility to keep themselves fit but they cant. how long can shoaib last into int. cricket with that kind of a body? may be a year or two.

  • Asim Sajwani on January 25, 2007, 6:59 GMT

    Root is simple.. PCB itself not knows what they're doing. Typical unprofessional attitude. (UN)Fortunately have met with their directors and have seen them how they work. Personal Ego, Rude Attitude, Internal Politics. They can join a circus and make a living easily afterall they're makers of best comics. But it's a saying Don't try to waste your time teaching a p*g how to sing cause firstly you'll waste your time and secondly it will annoy stupid p*g :)

  • shiraz saeed mughal on January 25, 2007, 6:45 GMT

    it,s very unfortunate for pakistan players as well as fans to have so many injuries on a very crictical juncture but hat,s off to pakistan they put up a brave fight against the odds to win at port elizabeth and wishing them well for the decider. regards,shiraz saeed mughal

  • Aina Maria Waseem on January 25, 2007, 6:42 GMT

    This is true and it is high time something was done about it and that something would better not be pointing fingers, like Shoaib Akhtar was recently accused of knowing he was injured and still playing. He just needs to be extraordinarily fit to survive his own bowling. I dont think sports physiology is a very developed area in Pakistan because people's ideas still seem to be very old-fashioned about it. We love to hire lots of foreign coaches but what we really need is a team of LEADING specialists from the developed countries and that, I think, would be the best investment we ever make.

  • Nuruddin Lakhani on January 25, 2007, 6:40 GMT

    When Shoaib Akhtar was not included in the original squad due to fitness reasons, many eyebrows were raised and comments were made by the senior players about some hidden agenda against him. Well, he was sent to bowl 11 overs and we all know the rest. In one of the earlier blogs, I had made the comment that if selected for the World Cup, Shoaib won't be able to play all the games because of the same fitness reasons. Well, he did not even last a complete match!

    I do agree with you that Sports Medicine and Science is growing and the feeling is that PCB is not doing enough at this point. A lot has to be addressed - players diet, weight and regular physical activity etc. Not to forget some late night activities while on tour!

    PCB should outsource the health part of the national team and independent team of doctors (sports medicine) should consult and report on individual players fitness and training plans. I am sure with all the facilities in the country, its possible locally without spending a fortune.

  • Mahir Nisar on January 25, 2007, 6:37 GMT

    I totally agree with what Kamran has stated regarding the continious medical failures that have marred our cricket team. As an athlete myself, I can understand that injuries are a part of the game, but there are preventive measures that one must take during the off-season. Such preventive measures are based on strength-training through weights and stamina building through running. A proper regiment of building muscle around the body allows for a significant decrease in being injury prone. Furthermore, as an athelete I can recall that the mental aspect of sports takes a toll on the body even when physically the player is fine and in shape. It may be advisable to the PCB to invest their money in Psychological and stress-relieving therapeutic exercises. This will save them a lot of money where injuries can be prevented. Most injuries occur in atheletes because of high-stress, nervousness, and mental fatigue. Surprisingly, so many doctors run the PCB according to what you have said, but still are incapable of figuring out the techniques used by the other boards...

  • Aamir Nazir on January 25, 2007, 6:33 GMT

    The fitness problems with Pakistan are not a result of the team physio or trainer but rather the lacklustre effort of our own players to stay physically fit. The same trainers and physios who are attached with the Pakistan team today, achieve excellent results with other sides, be it South Africa, Australia, New Zealand etc. Our problem is that our own players do not care about their own physical fitness, they are naturally lazy, and for them physical fitness is more of a job rather than anything else. While on the subject of injuries, Shoaib Akhtar for one is the biggest prima donna on the planet, if you stick a finger on his chest and push, he'll probably end up sitting out the next 5 games because of a "chest injury". He is the most physically unfit person I have ever seen, and does not deserve to be in the Pakistan team ever again.

  • Imtiaz Hydari on January 25, 2007, 6:30 GMT

    I agree, the PCB is clearly responsible for ensuring they know what the heck is going on with the players in relation to thier fitness levels. Players are taken on tours and before the first game eclared unfit!!!! stupid, ridiculous and totally unacceptable. Shoaib Akhtar, Shoaib Malik, Umar Gul Shabbir.. just in relation to the South Africa tour... God help when we take our selected team for the World Cup!!!!!!! Little wonder that in this beautiful land of ours ... accountability is a word expunged from the national dictionary. Nobody is willing to take responsibility for the debacles but even those not involved are upfront in claiming credit... disgusting state of affairs.

  • Bilal on January 25, 2007, 6:27 GMT

    PCB has never given the credentials of the so called Medical experts anywhere on the media or its website. We don't have any idea on who is running the medical board and how are they accountable to the chief of PCB. This is such a discussion that should be discussed on TV rather than on this forum. Its a matter that should be of grave concern to every Pakistani cricket fans. I feel that something should be done about it.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 25, 2007, 6:18 GMT

    What Kamran Abbassi is asking from the Pakistani cricket team is really too much, especially when you take in to consideration the cultural back ground and the lifestyle of Pakistani people in general and the players in particular.

    They do need to improve, the quality of health and physical fitness not just by a few sessions of work out in the gym or a few net sessions on the ground, or the recent hoopla of P.E. drills that are shown on TV these days. More than anything else, they need to change their eating habits.

    I remember seeing so many Pakistani cricket players in Sharjah and Dubai eating Nihari and Paya at the Delhi Restaurants or order take-away the same food, almost every night. Upon asking why they eat such heavy food everyday? The reply was, its delicious. There is nothing wrong to eat Nihari, I love it too. But, the point is I won't eat it a night before embarking on a journey or, if I have an important exam to write the next morning. The chances of getting sick or the feeling of discomfort is very high due to obvious reasons. It is better for them to watch what the eat during the tours.

    Ricky Ponting, while on the tour of India once said, its too tempting for our blokes to eat spicy food here, but I don't want any trouble while we are on a tour. Abdul Razzaq is another example who passed out in his hotel room in Australia and was hospitalized only to discover that the mystery illness was due to eating spinach, and just spinach, and nothing but spinach. Was he trying to emulate Popoye The Sailor Man?

    If the players eat balanced diet and eat more protein and avoid eating fatty spicy food, then they would be more fit. If Zidane had stopped heading soccer balls he would avoid so much brain damage and would become smarter. If Shoaib Akhtar eat more fibre he would be more regular and not be so full of sh*t.

    This is on a lighter note, but the truth is: "You are what you eat."

    PS. btw, what is Imran Farhat doing to Shoaib Akhtar in that picture?

  • Daud Malk on January 25, 2007, 5:44 GMT

    Doc, you should agree that doctors should not run Pakistan cricket, especially when they are relatives. People are becoming heads of PCB just because they are close to the highest man in Pakistan. Unless this pratice is changed, docs will continue to apply their medicine to cricket, where it is not needed.

  • Raza Zaidi on January 25, 2007, 5:35 GMT

    I agree with you on this one Kamran (Golly Gosh!!).

    I have to say that you have cunnigly avoided talking about your favorite superstar's (Shoaib) unruly behavior problem. I was expecting a piece from you on this topic, but maybe you made a "journalistic" decision that it wasn't worth talking about because it would involve criticism of your favorite player!??

  • Irfan Ahmed on January 25, 2007, 5:29 GMT

    I agree with you Kamran on 'selected' doctors and physio in the team. The best way to counter is to make Selectors, Manager, Coach, Physio and Team Doctor responsible for the fitness and activities of the players. These 5 set of people should have their bonus/incentive/salary deducted if a player gets unfit during the international games. It is a well known fact that during tour or home fixtures extra curricular activities of certain selected players result in their injuries, it is also a well known fact that selectors knowingly select unfit players for an international series either on players reputation or on whims of certain segment of Pakistani society. The system cannot work on rewards only for these people, there should be punitive action against them as well. Make Selectors, Manager, Coach, Physio and Team Doctor accountable in tangible sense.

  • shahab randhawa on January 25, 2007, 5:28 GMT

    I do not think the problem with fitness of pakistani team is much serious. Actually it is happening all around the world.Probably the most talented bowler of Newzealand , Shane Bond wasted his 2 years by injuries.It is happening with England too. Simon Jones,Micheal Vaughan and few other players are not playing due to injuries.Actually every player should take care of his fitness himself rather than depending on medical staff.Why Shoaib Akhtar and Shane Bond always remain injured but Brett Lee almost never had any problems with fitness during his career.

  • Jith R on January 25, 2007, 3:14 GMT

    I dont think Shoaib Akthar shudve been called to South Africa as a back up for Umar Gul in the first place. The way i see it he got called mainly for his reputation than his fitness. His lack of fitness was evident in his first spell when he was bowling at 135 - 140 kmph which is actually good for a normal paceman, but, if Akthar was actually match fit he shudve been bowling at 145kmph. His role in the team is to bowl quick. Although he took 4 - 36 in his first innings...its fair to say that two of those wickets were from rubbish balls

  • Amir, USA on January 25, 2007, 2:28 GMT

    I wont be surprised if Mohammed Asif picks up an injury too, they have used him like an overworked combodian child in a sweat shop. A fast bowler bowling Almost 60 overs in a test, gimme a break.

  • Sami Syed from Toronto on January 25, 2007, 1:20 GMT

    Salam Alikum.

    In this case I will agree with you half way Kamran bhai. Yes it is the responsibility of PCB to a certain extent that its players are fit.

    However, my first point is that if a player hides his injury in the case of Umar Gul then what can you really do, conduct Physicals everyday? Not really, some responsibility goes to the players to declare their ailments. Well, this was the minor point I had to make. More importantly, we are Pakistanis, and we know our team doesn't have the discipline as the Aussies or even the Indians. Yes some of them work out, aside from practising but some don't. In any case the players, should be half responsible for their actions as well.

    I started off by saying that PCB is half responsible but through writing this little comment I realized that PCB infact is fully and wholey responsible because they should have policies and procedures in place. Yeah they have a physical trainer but our players probably take taht as optional. Players who are 110% fit should be sent to play so they can give it their all.

    WE made an exception in SHoaib Akhter's case and we now see the result.

    The fact of the matter is that one man cannot win the team a game. The team needs to perform together to win. We say this in the last test, where shoaib was injured for the entire second innings. We needed Asif and more importantly the other bowlers to share the burden to win us the match. We needed not just Inzi but Kamran and Younis to win us the game.

    Its a team sport mate, and everyone needs to be 100% fit otherwise other players can burn out!

    KHUDA HAFIZ

    Sami Syed from Toronto

  • Ammar on January 25, 2007, 1:17 GMT

    Very Interesting reading... I've always wondered what the hell is going on, most teams seem to put their best side on the park, whereas PAK every tournament there are guys missing for INJURY reason or ANOTHER.

    Take for Shoaib Malik, he ain't a FAST bowler, seems to be injured more than the Windies Quartet in the 80's, ever since his epic in SL where he came to age as an OPENER, he has hardly played at all. Then there is Akhtar, Gul, who seem to find a way to get injured when ASIF needs support. Oh yeah and there is Razzaq, Shabbir (you would think he would be fit).

    The general fitness of PAK team is also highly questionable ? Apparently I read on Woolmer's site that Sami, Razzaq, and Malik are the fittest blokes in the team.

    Yeah I put the issue down to management in PAK of the players. This is a cultural problem I believe they are treated like all other things in PAK. Have you seen the MALNUTRIONED animals, the DEFECTIVE cars and CRUMBLING buildings in the country, they are used until they literally fall to pieces. There is never thought given to fixing the problems, only pathing is done here and there.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Ammar on January 25, 2007, 1:17 GMT

    Very Interesting reading... I've always wondered what the hell is going on, most teams seem to put their best side on the park, whereas PAK every tournament there are guys missing for INJURY reason or ANOTHER.

    Take for Shoaib Malik, he ain't a FAST bowler, seems to be injured more than the Windies Quartet in the 80's, ever since his epic in SL where he came to age as an OPENER, he has hardly played at all. Then there is Akhtar, Gul, who seem to find a way to get injured when ASIF needs support. Oh yeah and there is Razzaq, Shabbir (you would think he would be fit).

    The general fitness of PAK team is also highly questionable ? Apparently I read on Woolmer's site that Sami, Razzaq, and Malik are the fittest blokes in the team.

    Yeah I put the issue down to management in PAK of the players. This is a cultural problem I believe they are treated like all other things in PAK. Have you seen the MALNUTRIONED animals, the DEFECTIVE cars and CRUMBLING buildings in the country, they are used until they literally fall to pieces. There is never thought given to fixing the problems, only pathing is done here and there.

  • Sami Syed from Toronto on January 25, 2007, 1:20 GMT

    Salam Alikum.

    In this case I will agree with you half way Kamran bhai. Yes it is the responsibility of PCB to a certain extent that its players are fit.

    However, my first point is that if a player hides his injury in the case of Umar Gul then what can you really do, conduct Physicals everyday? Not really, some responsibility goes to the players to declare their ailments. Well, this was the minor point I had to make. More importantly, we are Pakistanis, and we know our team doesn't have the discipline as the Aussies or even the Indians. Yes some of them work out, aside from practising but some don't. In any case the players, should be half responsible for their actions as well.

    I started off by saying that PCB is half responsible but through writing this little comment I realized that PCB infact is fully and wholey responsible because they should have policies and procedures in place. Yeah they have a physical trainer but our players probably take taht as optional. Players who are 110% fit should be sent to play so they can give it their all.

    WE made an exception in SHoaib Akhter's case and we now see the result.

    The fact of the matter is that one man cannot win the team a game. The team needs to perform together to win. We say this in the last test, where shoaib was injured for the entire second innings. We needed Asif and more importantly the other bowlers to share the burden to win us the match. We needed not just Inzi but Kamran and Younis to win us the game.

    Its a team sport mate, and everyone needs to be 100% fit otherwise other players can burn out!

    KHUDA HAFIZ

    Sami Syed from Toronto

  • Amir, USA on January 25, 2007, 2:28 GMT

    I wont be surprised if Mohammed Asif picks up an injury too, they have used him like an overworked combodian child in a sweat shop. A fast bowler bowling Almost 60 overs in a test, gimme a break.

  • Jith R on January 25, 2007, 3:14 GMT

    I dont think Shoaib Akthar shudve been called to South Africa as a back up for Umar Gul in the first place. The way i see it he got called mainly for his reputation than his fitness. His lack of fitness was evident in his first spell when he was bowling at 135 - 140 kmph which is actually good for a normal paceman, but, if Akthar was actually match fit he shudve been bowling at 145kmph. His role in the team is to bowl quick. Although he took 4 - 36 in his first innings...its fair to say that two of those wickets were from rubbish balls

  • shahab randhawa on January 25, 2007, 5:28 GMT

    I do not think the problem with fitness of pakistani team is much serious. Actually it is happening all around the world.Probably the most talented bowler of Newzealand , Shane Bond wasted his 2 years by injuries.It is happening with England too. Simon Jones,Micheal Vaughan and few other players are not playing due to injuries.Actually every player should take care of his fitness himself rather than depending on medical staff.Why Shoaib Akhtar and Shane Bond always remain injured but Brett Lee almost never had any problems with fitness during his career.

  • Irfan Ahmed on January 25, 2007, 5:29 GMT

    I agree with you Kamran on 'selected' doctors and physio in the team. The best way to counter is to make Selectors, Manager, Coach, Physio and Team Doctor responsible for the fitness and activities of the players. These 5 set of people should have their bonus/incentive/salary deducted if a player gets unfit during the international games. It is a well known fact that during tour or home fixtures extra curricular activities of certain selected players result in their injuries, it is also a well known fact that selectors knowingly select unfit players for an international series either on players reputation or on whims of certain segment of Pakistani society. The system cannot work on rewards only for these people, there should be punitive action against them as well. Make Selectors, Manager, Coach, Physio and Team Doctor accountable in tangible sense.

  • Raza Zaidi on January 25, 2007, 5:35 GMT

    I agree with you on this one Kamran (Golly Gosh!!).

    I have to say that you have cunnigly avoided talking about your favorite superstar's (Shoaib) unruly behavior problem. I was expecting a piece from you on this topic, but maybe you made a "journalistic" decision that it wasn't worth talking about because it would involve criticism of your favorite player!??

  • Daud Malk on January 25, 2007, 5:44 GMT

    Doc, you should agree that doctors should not run Pakistan cricket, especially when they are relatives. People are becoming heads of PCB just because they are close to the highest man in Pakistan. Unless this pratice is changed, docs will continue to apply their medicine to cricket, where it is not needed.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 25, 2007, 6:18 GMT

    What Kamran Abbassi is asking from the Pakistani cricket team is really too much, especially when you take in to consideration the cultural back ground and the lifestyle of Pakistani people in general and the players in particular.

    They do need to improve, the quality of health and physical fitness not just by a few sessions of work out in the gym or a few net sessions on the ground, or the recent hoopla of P.E. drills that are shown on TV these days. More than anything else, they need to change their eating habits.

    I remember seeing so many Pakistani cricket players in Sharjah and Dubai eating Nihari and Paya at the Delhi Restaurants or order take-away the same food, almost every night. Upon asking why they eat such heavy food everyday? The reply was, its delicious. There is nothing wrong to eat Nihari, I love it too. But, the point is I won't eat it a night before embarking on a journey or, if I have an important exam to write the next morning. The chances of getting sick or the feeling of discomfort is very high due to obvious reasons. It is better for them to watch what the eat during the tours.

    Ricky Ponting, while on the tour of India once said, its too tempting for our blokes to eat spicy food here, but I don't want any trouble while we are on a tour. Abdul Razzaq is another example who passed out in his hotel room in Australia and was hospitalized only to discover that the mystery illness was due to eating spinach, and just spinach, and nothing but spinach. Was he trying to emulate Popoye The Sailor Man?

    If the players eat balanced diet and eat more protein and avoid eating fatty spicy food, then they would be more fit. If Zidane had stopped heading soccer balls he would avoid so much brain damage and would become smarter. If Shoaib Akhtar eat more fibre he would be more regular and not be so full of sh*t.

    This is on a lighter note, but the truth is: "You are what you eat."

    PS. btw, what is Imran Farhat doing to Shoaib Akhtar in that picture?

  • Bilal on January 25, 2007, 6:27 GMT

    PCB has never given the credentials of the so called Medical experts anywhere on the media or its website. We don't have any idea on who is running the medical board and how are they accountable to the chief of PCB. This is such a discussion that should be discussed on TV rather than on this forum. Its a matter that should be of grave concern to every Pakistani cricket fans. I feel that something should be done about it.