Pakistan cricketers to train at high altitude for Twenty20 World Cup

May 12th, 2009 - 10:05 pm ICT by IANS  

By Omar Khalid
Karachi, May 12 (IANS) Pakistan has devised a high-altitude training programme for its cricketers ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup to be played in England June 5-21.

‘The News’ reported Tuesday that Pakistani cricketers will undergo physical training sessions for six days at the hill resort of Bhurban from May 14 in a bid to prepare for the England assignment.

The 15-man Pakistan squad for the biennial spectacle will assemble in Bhurban Thursday for a conditioning camp that will continue till May 19.

Later, the players will gather in Lahore for a series of practice games May 21-24 and will feature in two matches daily at the Gaddafi Stadium.

Their preparations for the England trip will continue in the shape of the National Twenty20 Championship to be played in Lahore May 26-29.

The idea behind having a conditioning camp ahead of the practice games and the National Twenty20 Championship is to help the players overcome the fatigue of a one-day series against Australia that concluded in Dubai May 7 and be fully ready for the Twenty20 World Cup.

Pakistan will began their title campaign in the event with a match against hosts England at The Oval June 7.

Intikhab Alam, the Pakistan coach, said that the players will undergo physical training sessions during the six-day camp but will not be playing any cricket there.

“The idea behind having a conditioning camp in Bhurban is to give the players a chance to train at a high-altitude and in cooler climate,” said Intikhab. “Our target is to take a team of super fit players to England where we will be aiming for the world title,” he added.

Pakistani cricketers were given a break following their return from UAE last week where they lost the one-day series against Australia 2-3 but won the one-off Twenty20 International quite comfortably.

Intikhab said that he was satisfied with the team’s performance, saying that it played well in spite of the unhelpful circumstances.

“We have played our cricket in bits and pieces in recent times and it hasn’t helped our cause,” he said referring to the fact that Pakistan have played little Test cricket in the past 16 months and most of their one-day opponents, before the series against Australia, have been lower-ranked teams.

“Australia, in contrast, came to UAE after having played a lot of quality cricket and that helped them,” he said.

Intikhab said that Pakistan were unfortunate to lose the series in spite of ‘dominating’ the Aussies during the best part of the contest.

“We dominated Australia in most of the games but were unlucky to win the series,” he claimed.

He believed that Pakistan’s below-par batting in the ODI series let them down. “Our batsmen showed a tendency for poor shot selection and that is one area where we need to work a lot,” he said.

Intikhab was all praise for his charges especially Shahid Afridi, who was Pakistan’s most successful players in the series.

“Shahid played tremendously well,” he said. “Then there were players like Umar Gul, Kamran Akmal and Misbah-ul-Haq, who did a great job,” he said.

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