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Babar Azam & Co laud ‘highly valuable’ Kakul physical fitness camp

Babar Azam & Co laud 'highly valuable' Kakul physical fitness camp

LAHORE: Pakistan team players have opened up on their 11-day Kakul physical fitness camp which culminated on Saturday terming the experience as “highly valuable” and of “tremendous benefit” for their conditioning and well-being as well as team bonding.

As many as 29 cricketers took part in the fitness camp in Abbottabad, established in collaboration with the Pakistan Army, from March 26 to April 6 wherein the players underwent drills aimed at enhancing their physical and mental strength to prepare them for the on-field challenges ahead — most notably home T20I series against New Zealand, the away T20I series against Ireland and England.

The fitness camp saw the Men in Green undergoing a comprehensive training regime tailored to elevate their fitness levels, agility, leadership, strategic thinking and overall performance on the ground.

Reacting to his experience of the training camp, skipper Babar Azam termed it as “highly successful” which proved to be “exceptionally valuable” with regards to upcoming challenges.

“This was my third boot camp, and with each visit, I’ve gleaned new insights […] This time, our focus extended beyond physical fitness to encompass team bonding activities and performance-improving lectures,” Babar said underscoring the significance of these elements and terming them as a key to collective performance to achieve desired results.

The star batter further highlighted that with the focus on physical conditioning, teamwork and mental resilience, the training camp mitigates injury risks but also augments both individual skills and collective team performance.

“I’m confident that we’ll return to competitive cricket as better, fitter and mentally tougher athletes, thereby enhancing our overall performance,” he concluded.

Elaborating on his time in the 11-day camp, all-rounder Shadab Khan said that he has no doubt that all the cricketers will return with improved fitness levels and standards that will significantly contribute when they take the field in the upcoming challenges

“The fitter our players are during the season, the greater our chances of success will be,” he noted.

Imad Wasim, who joined the camp after retracting his retirement from international cricket and declared availability for the national side after meeting Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials, said he tremendously benefitted from the fitness camp as the “sessions and drills were markedly different from cricket-related training, but we dedicated extra hours that I’m confident will benefit us all in match situations.”

“[The camp] was also crucial from a team bonding perspective […] This closeness will undoubtedly play a significant role in our performances,’ Imad said.

Meanwhile, fast bowler Naseem Shah expressed hope that post-Kakul camp, he’ll return as a fitter and more adept athlete.

Terming it a “once-in-a-lifetime experience”, all-rounder Aamer Jamal said that owing to the camp’s high altitude, unique training methods were necessary to ensure sufficient oxygen flow to muscles which was one of the most valuable takeaways from the time in Kakul.

With his focus on enhancing his endurance, wicket-keeper batter Azam Khan said that he feels well-prepared and equipped to continue working towards achieving the required standards.

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