Mohammad Hafeez has re-ignited the debate surrounding Azam Khan’s fitness.© AFP

Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez has re-ignited the debate surrounding Azam Khan‘s fitness, amid the wicketkeeper-batter’s poor form in the ongoing T20 World Cup. Azam has been criticised for his fitness and form, with the youngster failing to justify his selection in the team for the tournament. During a recent interaction on PTV Sports, Hafeez shared an interesting anecdote regarding Azam’s fitness regime. Hafeez revealed that during his time as Pakistan’s Director of Cricket, Azam was assigned a six-week fitness program.

However, Hafeez didn’t any change in the player, while his stamina also decreased.

“When Azam Khan joins a training programme, he’s the same weight 6 weeks later that he started with. His fat levels are the same. The whole Pakistan team can cover two kilometers in 10 minutes, while Azam Khan will take 20 minutes to cover the distance,” Hafeez said on PTV Sports.

Hafeez also questioned Azam’s professionalism and dedication while representing Pakistan, adding that he has been already been given too much time to work on his fitness.

“Being lean or oversize is never an issue for me, but you need to work according to the needs of the game. You need to bring your fitness to a required level. We gave him a fitness plan, but he [Azam] could not improve. You are in the team because of your talent, but you need to respond in case of fitness. You are the only one in the team on whom we have compromised on the grounds of fitness,” he added.

Azam has been at the receiving end of strong criticism of former players. He was also dropped from the team for the game against India and Canada.

In 13 T20I matches, Azam Khan has an average 8.80 with a strike-rate of 133.33 and his highest score is 30 not out.

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