The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Sunday that they will conduct online fitness assessment of 19 under-19 cricketers from Monday. This is designed to keep up and upcoming talents focused and motivated during the critical situation across the globe due to the global pandemic novel coronavirus, which has brought the world into a standstill and put a halt on outdoor physical activities as well.

However, the test will take place from 22-26 June in which their hand-eye coordination, body balance, core muscle and lower body strength along with upper body endurance will be checked as well. However, the media release of Pakistan Cricket Board has added that it’s their strategy to enhance the pool of women cricketers by creating a U19 pathway programme and investing in them.

Meanwhile, the players were chosen on the basis of their performances in the Skills2Shine U-18 Women T20 Championship, a four-team tournament which took place in Lahore in November last year. After the tournament, the players underwent a 14-day-long training camp at the Hanif Mohammad High Performance Centre in Karachi as well.

“Physical fitness is one of the key elements for any cricketer in order to be successful and thrive in this day and age. It is important that the players are made aware of these requirements right from the moment they enter the system,” Urooj Mumtaz, chair of the national women’s selection committee, was quoted as saying. “With the aim to create a fitness-centric environment, these players have been engaged in training programmes provided by the strength and conditioning coach over the past two months.”

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“The testing battery has been designed keeping in mind the challenges of training indoors in these unprecedented times. The basic purpose behind this assessment is to gauge the baseline fitness of this group along with keeping them involved and motivated,” she further added.

“The investment in women cricketers at the emerging and age group level is of great significance for the PCB as they are the future of the game and it is important that the board regularly engages with these players and assists them in understanding the essential attributes of modern day cricket,” she concluded. “The PCB through its Skills2Shine and Cric4us initiatives has undertaken various programmes to broaden the pool of women cricketers.”

List of Pakistan U-19 players who will undergo fitness assessment:

Anoosha Nasir (Karachi), Arijah Haseeb (Karachi), Fajar Naveed (Islamabad), Fatima Khan (Lahore), Gul Rukh (Lahore), Gul Uswa (Multan), Hamna Bilal (Islamabad), Hania Ahmar (Karachi), Khushbakht Waseem (Lahore), Laiba Fatima (Karachi), Laraib Malik (Lahore), Laveeza Munir (Lahore), Momina Riasat Khan (Abbottabad), Nazish Rafique (Lahore), Rida Aslam (Islamabad), Saima Malik (Quetta), Shawal Zulfiqar (Lahore), Yusra Amir (Karachi) and Zaib-un-Nisa (Charsadda).

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