Pakistan’s quickies are in top shape

Published: February 18, 2011
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Dwyer talks to the Pakistan squad. PHOTO: FILE

Salam. Umeed hai aap sab kheriat say hongay.

The world of never-ending cricket that we live in has descended upon the subcontinent as we dive into the cupboard and pull out the coloured pyjamas for the pinnacle of our sport – the World Cup.

Right now, the same question gets asked at 50 different press gatherings of coaches, managers, players and even guys like me, the fitness specialists: who’s going to win?

For me, I’d say, as quickly and as forthrightly as possible, us. Pakistan, of course.

Perhaps the proudest part of Pakistan cricket is the constant production of fast-bowlers. There’s no doubt that for a team to win this trophy, they need to bowl out their opponents and I believe the men in green are very capable of that.

Umar Gul — Gully is one of the fittest players in the squad and during my time with the team, he was a phenomenal runner and I’d love to see him run a 400m. With able body strength, Gul works extremely hard on his fitness. When we toured Sri Lanka in 2009, with humidity above 80 per cent and after having bowled almost 35 overs in the second innings of the third Test, Gully looked at me and said, “DD, I’m running five laps because I’m disappointed we didn’t win the Test.”

Wahab Riaz — One of the best and natural athletes I’ve come across, Princess has a fantastic turn of speed and is very strong through his upper and lower body. He’s like a bull that’ll run in and hit the deck as hard as possible and I could always depend on him for a great joke each session.

Abdul Razzaq — My mate Razzie has the body of Hercules. Razzie loved my training and while he’s got a wealth of experience, fitness has been something he considered as much a part of his life as his boots, pads and his Pakistan cap. He loves his training almost as much as his new HTC phone.

Junaid Khan — Junaid is considered the heir to the fast-bowling throne. The young gun will be responsible for taking Pakistan cricket through the next 10 years. It’s a huge responsibility but I’m led to believe that his fitness levels are very good. But he needs to understand that if you don’t look after the engine, the Ferrari won’t run for long.

Shoaib Akhtar — Most people don’t understand how hard it is to maintain an injury-free body when you are bowling at over 150kph and the body’s going through three to five times its body weight on delivery. So it’s a testament to Elvis that he’s still bowling at these speeds with the hyperflexion he goes through. His body strength is his weapon and is what allows him to perform like he does, his leg strength is exceptional and his flexibility amazing.

To get through six weeks of tough cricket in extreme heat and humidity, these guys are going to be the backbone of the team’s success. While most fans generally don’t see what is happening behind the walls of Gaddafi Stadium or the NCA, these guys had been heaving and puffing and working hard for the mega event.

With that, I wish them luck. Jeet kay aana boys.

david.dwyer

David Dwyer

The writer is Pakistan’s former training and conditioning coach

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.