Pakistan fines 12 cricket players

LAHORE, Pakistan – Pakistan cricket authorities have fined 12 players, including star allrounder Shahid Afridi and batsman Umar Akmal, for failing to meet fitness standards.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) set tough new fitness guidelines in June, warning that failure to stay in shape would lead to players having their salaries docked.

A PCB spokesman said on Tuesday the players were assessed against the guidelines earlier in September, and the 12 who failed would lose 25 percent of one month’s salary.

“An assessment of 29 players’ fitness was carried out between September 6 and 8, and 12 players did not meet the fitness standards,” said the spokesman.

Along with Afridi and Akmal, those facing fines include Khurram Manzoor, Sarfraz Ahmed, Abdur Rehman, Haris Sohail, Sohaib Maqsood, Mohammad Irfan, Sharjeel Khan, Mohmmad Talha, Raza Hassan and Zulfiqar Babar.

But five others were rewarded with percent bonuses for improving their fitness, including Test and one-day captain Misbah-ul Haq.

“Misbah, Ahmed Shahzad and Bilawal Bhatti will get ten percent bonus while Shan Masood and Umar Amin will get 17 percent bonus of their monthly salaries,” the spokesman said.

The new screening protocol has been divided into five levels, with players facing 17 different tests to undergo assessment.

“Those who maintained fitness levels are Azhar Ali, Umar Gul, Ehsan Adil, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Rahat Ali, Adnan Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Fawad Alam and Anwar Ali,” said the spokesman.

Three players — Nasir Jamshed, Wahab Riaz and Saeed Ajmal — have not been tested for “personal reasons”.

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