DHAKA - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar M Khan has termed Pakistan team fitness as the ‘worst in the world’ with the only exception of Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq and veteran batsman Younus Khan who meet the minimum standard in the country.
The PCB chief added that there would not be any immediate remedial steps as fitness culture has to be developed over time. "None of our first-class team measures up to the minimum domestic standard of fitness , which makes it difficult to select a national team . These things have to be addressed over time, and it cannot be done overnight. Our fitness levels are not up to the international standards. We have to take drastic steps now because we don't have a culture of fitness and this has to be installed."  After landing in Dhaka on Wednesday, he gave a 10-minute speech to the Pakistan team , hinting at changes after the ongoing series against Bangladesh, and was also critical of their performance so far in the local media.
"I have come here to witness the last Test and give my support personally to the team ," he said. "There is disappointment at the result of this tour but I was not surprised because Bangladesh have shown steady improvement over the last few years and cannot be taken lightly anymore.
"There are concerns back home with regard to Pakistan's performance, and I will talk to the coaches, manager and captain to find out the reasons for our unsuccessful tour. But I am not here to take immediate action. We have decided that we will sit down and assess the situation after the tour to see what is to be done with the team and the strategy."
Shaharyar was particularly disappointed with the gulf in the levels of fitness between Pakistan and the other teams. "I think the problem is very deep, our fitness levels are very poor. We are only at grade 10 while teams like Australia and South Africa are at grade 14. You can see the difference in Bangladesh [too], they are fit. Our minimum level of fitness is only met by Misbah and Younus. None of the others meet this level, which is unacceptable."
Pakistan have had a disastrous tour. They were blanked 3-0 in the ODIs and slipped from No. 7 in the rankings to No. 9. Improvement will be necessary to qualify for the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. Then they lost the T20 and were on the receiving end of a record-breaking batting performance from Bangladesh in the first Test.  "We are not pressing the panic button just yet," Shaharyar said. "We have lost here and lost it badly, but to a very good Bangladesh team . They are doing very well and playing with a lot of spirit as was evident from the way they recovered from a 300-run deficit in the previous Test in Khulna.
"But we will abide by our earlier decision and assess what changes are to be made, both in the short run and the long term. A short-run alteration would mean changing the captain and the selection committee, but I don't think that is the answer. Tinkering with the team will not make much of a difference. We are looking at remedial actions that will address the issues in the long run." Shaharyar further said that both Pakistan and Bangladesh are determined to improve their ties in future. "We had a problem in the past as they were supposed to come to Pakistan in 2012 but they had their reasons," he said. "We want to continue building ties between Pakistan and Bangladesh regularly. I know BCB want to reciprocate by coming to us later on, after two years, but meanwhile they are sending the women's team and we are happy with that."