‘Others Take 10 Minutes, He Takes 20 for 2 km’: Ex-PCB Director Criticizes Azam Khan’s Fitness

Azam Khan fitness criticism

Pakistan secured a seven-wicket victory over Canada in New York, marking their first win in the T20 World Cup 2024. Despite this success, Babar Azam’s squad experienced a turbulent start with a Super Over loss to co-hosts USA and a narrow six-run defeat against India.

Wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan has faced intense criticism due to his poor fitness and lackluster form. His struggles led to his exclusion from the starting lineup, with slim chances of returning for the remainder of the tournament.

In his T20 World Cup debut, Azam Khan was dismissed for a golden duck in the opening match against the USA.

Hafeez Criticizes Azam Khan’s Fitness

Former Pakistan team director Mohammad Hafeez highlighted Azam’s fitness issues, saying, “Other players in the Pakistan team can run two kilometers in just 10 minutes, but Azam Khan takes 20 minutes for the same distance. Regrettably, Azam Khan does not appear to be fully committed to playing international cricket.”

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Hafeez stressed the importance of fitness in international cricket, irrespective of a player’s build. “Fitness is crucial for playing at the required level, regardless of one’s build. We provided Azam with a fitness plan, but he was unable to improve his condition. While talent got you onto the team, maintaining adequate fitness is essential. In fact, you are the only player we’ve made exceptions for in terms of fitness standards,” he added.

Azam Khan’s poor performance and fitness issues have attracted criticism from fans and former players alike. Pakistan currently sits third in Group A with 2 points from 3 matches, trailing the USA by 2 points.

Although the USA’s recent defeat to India has lessened the net run rate’s significance in the group, Pakistan boasts a better net run rate of +0.191 compared to the co-hosts’ +0.127.

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