Cricket: Misbah advises players to remain physically, mentally fit during lockdown period

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Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has urged national cricketers to remain physically and mentally fit during the lockdown period and identify areas where ‘they can improve themselves’.

“This time off, you’ve got to utilise it very smartly and reflect on your game. It’s not just me but for other players as well, they have time to look back – what good and bad they have done and where they can improve themselves,” Misbah said in an interview with prominent cricket website ESPN Cricinfo.

“When you are playing, you do not have much time to think. You’re just going with the flow. There are things you won’t be able to understand while playing or even practicing. But now, when you are mentally free and not occupied, this is the best available time for your learning curve.

“I will be emphasising that you’ve got to believe in yourself and stay positive. Yes, it’s a tough situation but at the same time consider this break a chance to reinvigorate yourself. Several players have been playing consistently and we all need a break from the load of cricket,” he added.

While most players lack the facilities to practice their cricketing skills at home, Misbah feels it is important they do everything within their means to maintain general physical fitness.

“Problem is that at this time nobody has the facilities to practice, so for now the one thing I am talking to players is about fitness,” Misbah said. “We are in touch with players on an individual basis, both with the batters and bowlers, and we are talking and keeping them in track.”

“Along with my assistant coach Shahid Aslam, I’m getting players’ videos from the PSL and the recent series we played, and breaking them down in terms of strengths and weaknesses, and getting back to the players with our feedback.

It’s tough to get them on board collectively and make them practice, but with some clarity in the situation we can at least be ready to execute with a clear mind [when cricket resumes],” he maintained.

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