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Misbah-ul-Haq to lead Pakistan's conditioning camp ahead of new season

The camp has been set up to prepare the players for a competitive and challenging domestic and international cricket season, which is expected to begin with the prestigious Quaid-e-Azam Trophy from September 12.

Misbah-ul-Haq to lead Pakistan's conditioning camp ahead of new season

Former Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-haq has been named as the "camp commandant" for the upcoming 17-day pre-season camp, which is to take place from August 22 to September 7 at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore. 

The camp has been set up to prepare the players for a competitive and challenging domestic and international cricket season, which is expected to begin with the prestigious Quaid-e-Azam Trophy from September 12.

Fourteen centrally contracted and six additional men cricketers have been invited to attend a pre-season camp, which will commence on August 19 and after two days of fitness testing, the 17-day conditioning camp will begin.

As the process for the appointment of the players support personnel has been initiated, Misbah will craft the training programme and overlook of the camp until the recruitment process has concluded.

While the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to not renew the contracts of head coach Mickey Arthur and his support staff, there have been specualtions that Misbah could be roped in for the role. 

Apart from 31 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy first-class matches and number of domestic white ball matches in relation to the National T20 Cup and Pakistan Cup One-Day Tournament, the Pakistan cricket team is scheduled to play six World Test Championship Tests, three ODIs and nine T20Is in the forthcoming season.

Reflecting on Misbah's appointment as the "camp commandant", Zakir Khan, PCB Director of international cricket, said that the former Pakistan skipper understands the arduous demands of the game. 

“Misbah ul Haq, who has been Pakistan’s most successful captain, understands the arduous demands of the format in this day and age. With the advent of the World Test Championship, the PCB wants Pakistan to turn up with their best red ball game when they face Sri Lanka in the two-match Test series at home.

 Zakir further said that the training camp will benefit these 20 players in gearing up for an exciting cricketing season.

“Ahead of the Sri Lanka series, these players will be a part of the initial rounds of what will be a highly competitive Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. So, this camp will further benefit them in gearing up for an exciting cricketing season. As five players are already playing active cricket in England and Wales, we have given exemptions to them but they have been advised to return to Pakistan in time to be available for the first round matches of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy," he added.

During the pre-season camp, the players will undergo fielding drills and net sessions, along with fitness and other cricketing activities.

Azhar Ali will join the camp from the outset after completing his contract with English county Somerset. Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas and Mohammad Amir have been exempted from the camp so that they can complete their contracts with English counties Somerset, Glamorgan, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Essex, respectively. They will return to Pakistan in time to participate in the opening round matches of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

The 20-member contingent is as follows:

Centrally contracted: Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah

Non-centrally Contracted players: Asif Ali, Bilal Asif, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mir Hamza, Rahat Ali and Zafar Gohar