Pakistan’s new head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has changed the diet and nutrition plans for players in the domestic tournaments and in the national camp.
Misbah has issued standing orders that no heavy diet would be available to the players during the domestic season and in the national camp as players have to attain peak fitness to make the national squad.
“No more Biryani or oil-rich red meat meals or sweet dishes for the players now,” said a member of a catering company managing the food plan for the players in a match of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
Misbah has issued orders that only barbecue items and pasta with lots of fruits should be on the menu for all teams in the domestic season while the same diet plan would be followed in the national camps.
“Pakistani players are known to have a fondness for junk food and rich oily dishes when they are not playing for the national team but Misbah has told every player that a log book will be maintained on their fitness and diet plans and anyone found lacking would be shown the door,” a source, aware of the developments, said.
Misbah, who played international cricket till the age of 43 and is still active as a player at 45, is seen as a role model for maintaining high fitness standards.
Yasir more comfortable working under local coaches
Pakistan’s leg-spinner Yasir Shah has made it clear that he is more comfortable working under local coaches rather than foreigners.
Talking to the media in Karachi, Yasir said since making a comeback to the Test team in 2014, he had felt more comfortable working under local coaches.
“It has helped me a lot when we have had local coaches because they help a lot. I can say that Waqar Younis and Mushtaq Ahmed helped me a lot when they were with us. With foreign coaches I feel it becomes a bit difficult due to communication issues,” he said.
The leg-spinner who is the fastest to reach 200 Test wickets said he faced problems communicating with foreign coaches due to language barriers.
He admitted there were times when he couldn’t fully grasp what his former head coach, Mickey Arthur, was trying to tell him.
“At times I couldn’t convey what I wanted to discuss across to foreign coaches.”
He said that a leg-spinner required the full support and confidence of his captain and coaches to succeed and this is where he felt communication was easier with local coaches.
Pakistan Cricket Board has appointed Misbah-ul-Haq as head coach cum chief selector after experimenting for three years with Arthur and a support staff dominated by foreigners.
Before Arthur the Pakistan board has hired other foreign coaches as well, including Richard Pybus, Bob Woolmer, Geoff Lawson and Dav Whatmore.
Shah, who has been Pakistan’s top Test bowler in recent years, admitted he had not replicated the success of his Test matches in 50-overs cricket.
“That is true I have struggled in white-ball cricket due to reasons. In the World Cup, the weather and pitches were not ideal for leg-spinners and other bowlers also struggled from other teams.”
Yasir, 33, said he was working hard to maintain his fitness and touch peak form as Pakistan have a number of Test matches coming up in the next few months.
“Leg-spinners can’t be successful on every pitch and in Australia there was bounce but the ball didn’t grip to get break,” he said.
Yasir said the death of legendary spinner Abdul Qadir had come as a shock to him.
“Qadir bhai was an institution in the art of bowling leg-spin, googlies and flippers. I remember once asking him why I couldn’t bowl googlies like he did and he said my fingers were small.
“But one learnt a lot from. Bowlers from other teams also sought his advice I think that shows what a world-class bowler he was,” he added.