Mickey Arthur, the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team, on Tuesday said that he will not make any compromise on the fitness of Pakistan players. The former South African further added that after Pakistan returns back home after their ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign he will set up a fitness boot camp at the Kakul military academy. "No matter what anyone says I will not compromise on fitness. Because fitness is the primary key to success in modern day cricket," Arthur told a Pakistani newspaper in Cardiff.
"The camp will start after the Eid holidays and I have already spoken to the chief selector, Inzamam-ul-Haq, and cricket board about it," he said.
Arthur dismissed reports that he and Inzamam were not seeing eye to eye on many issues related to the Pakistan team.
"That is not correct. Myself and Inzi are on the same page and as far as fitness is concerned he is also very much insistent that any player who is in the team has to meet our required standards of fitness," he said.
"Last year also we had a camp before going to England and it was hugely beneficial for us," he said.
Arthur said that he was working hard with a proper plan with the Pakistan team but it would take time for pieces to fall into place.
"We just need to be a little patient but already a clear message has been given out to the players on fitness matters. I have made it clear and set a protocol that any player who joins the team has to immediately undergo a fitness test and clear it to be part of the team," Arthur added.
Chief selector, Inzamam told the media that it was a big achievement for Pakistan to reach the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy.
"What matters is that our players had the ability to sustain pressure and show the character to beat South Africa and Sri Lanka after the heavy loss to India in the first match," he said.
Inzamam said that in a tournament like the Champions Trophy no team could be taken lightly and no team could be written off.
"Big teams like Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand are out before the knockout stage. It just shows how close one-day cricket has become these days."
The former Pakistan captain said the national team had the ability to beat England in the semi-finals but would have to ensure they take catches.