LAHORE - National Cricket Academy (NCA) head coach Muhammad Akram has said that there will be reward and punishment system for the players according to their fitness level.

Talking to the reporters here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Monday, Akram said: “We earlier started the players’ fitness tests in May to improve their fitness level and make them physically and mentally strong. In the first phase, we didn’t take stern action against those who didn’t come up to standard criteria but we gave them task to make them fit in next four months.”

“Now after a gap of four months, we again took their fitness tests. But this time, there will be reward and punishment system for them. Those who has improved their fitness and come up to the international standard, they will get 10 per cent raise in their central contacts and those who failed to pass fitness tests, 25 per cent of their central contract will be deducted,” he said.

“In the earlier tests we have taken in May, the result was 35 per cent but this time, I hope the outcome will be positive and will be approximately 48 to 50 per cent. If the results will be 50 per cent or above, it will be a good achievement and I hope most of the players have achieved this task.”

“The players were seemed very committed this time, and they have improved a lot. Those who improved their fitness levels well include Misbahul Haq, Younus Khan, Shan Masood, Ahmad Shahzad, Umar Ameen, Sajawal Bhatti and a few more,” he said.

To a query regarding M Irfan’s fitness, Akram said: “Irfan also improved a lot but we have to use him very carefully. He needs match practice and as much as he plays, he will improve gradually. We will utilize his services in the ODIs.”

To another query regarding Umar Gul, he said that Gul had been working hard to make a comeback but it was too difficult for a player to return to cricket after knee injury.

When asked about utilization of biomechanics system installed in the National Cricket Academy (NCA), the NCA head coach said that he had talked to PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan in this regard and soon this system would be utilized for the betterment of players and their game.