Babar Azam reflects on pre-season camp in Kakul

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· Aamer Jamal, Azam Khan, Imad Wasim, Naseem Shah and Shadab Khan say they immensely enjoyed and benefited from the rigorous training drills and programmes that were designed by the Pakistan Army experts and strategists

· Complete package available on PCB YouTube Channel

· Urdu version of the media release is attached

Lahore, 7 April 2024:

Pakistan captain Babar Azam has termed the pre-season camp in Kakul as highly successful, adding that it not only contributed to preparing the players for the long and challenging cricket season ahead but also strengthened unity and understanding amongst the group through strategically designed team bonding exercises and drills.

Babar Azam was joined by Aamer Jamal, Azam Khan, Imad Wasim, Naseem Shah and Shadab Khan in paying tribute to the facilities, atmosphere, and support of the highly trained and skilled instructors. They also believed the 11 days spent at the location will help them successfully overcome the demands of upcoming challenges and contribute in producing strong performances.

Twenty-nine elite cricketers attended the pre-season camp at the historic and iconic Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul from March 26 to April 6, with the training and drills designed by Pakistan Army experts and strategists. During the camp, there was a focus on team building aimed to enhance the physical and mental strength of the players, ensuring they were in the best condition to face the challenges ahead.

Under the guidance of experienced trainers and coaches, the players underwent a comprehensive training regime tailored to elevate their fitness levels, agility, leadership, strategic thinking and overall performance on the field.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam:

“This was my third boot camp, and with each visit, I’ve gleaned new insights.

“This time, our focus extended beyond physical fitness to encompass team bonding activities and performance-improving lectures. These elements are crucial considering our team environment where collective performance is paramount for achieving desired results.

“The notable deviation from previous camps was the absence of cricket-centric activities. Instead, the emphasis was squarely on physical conditioning, teamwork and mental resilience. Immersed in such an inspiring facility, guided by top-notch instructors and a well-structured programme, all the players have experienced significant growth. I’m confident that we’ll return to competitive cricket as better, fitter and mentally tougher athletes, thereby enhancing our overall performance.

“Unlike our usual routine during other camps and international series, we engaged in confidence-building exercises and team-building activities. Notably, we opted to share rooms, facilitating deeper connections among team members. These shared spaces fostered discussions ranging from strategic planning and team combinations to the evolution of cricket, latest innovations in the sport, analysis of opponents and our approach to each day’s challenges.

“Given the upcoming cricket fixtures, this camp proves exceptionally valuable. It not only mitigates injury risks but also augments both individual skills and collective team performance.”

All-rounder Aamer Jamal:

“These sessions were instrumental in enhancing both our speed and endurance. Given the high altitude of this location, unique training methods were necessary to ensure sufficient oxygen flow to our muscles, and I believe this aspect was one of the most valuable takeaways from our time here in Kakul.

“Visiting this iconic facility was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The exceptional care and treatment we received added an extra layer of enjoyment and reward to this pre-season camp.”

Wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan:

“The rigorous training at higher altitudes has not only pushed us to our limits but has also markedly enhanced our overall fitness and strength. The picturesque location, steeped in history and achievements, served as a massive source of motivation for all of us, inspiring active participation in the drills and prompting us to make the most of this opportunity.

“My primary focus has been on enhancing my endurance, and the instructors have been incredibly supportive in this endeavor. While I understand that this is a gradual process, I feel well-prepared and equipped to assimilate all the learnings from this camp and continue working towards achieving the required standards.

“One of the most valuable aspects of this session has been the fostering of team bonding. We utilised this time to deepen our understanding of each other, drawing significant positive energy from these bonding exercises.”

All-rounder Imad Wasim:

“Personally, I benefited tremendously as I was already focused on my rehabilitation and strength. These sessions and drills were markedly different from cricket-related training, but we dedicated extra hours that I’m confident will benefit us all in match situations.

“The time in Kakul was also crucial from a team bonding perspective. I’ve sensed, and I’m sure other players have too, that it was valuable to be here, spend time together, and grow closer to each other. This closeness will undoubtedly play a significant role in our performances.”

Fast bowler Naseem Shah:

“After some time apart due to the HBL Pakistan Super League, it was truly gratifying to come together and recharge for the cricket challenges that lie ahead. Undoubtedly, there was a significant emphasis on physical fitness, as every athlete aspires to reach peak condition. In this regard, I believe we’ve successfully met our objectives, and I’ll return as a fitter and more adept athlete.

“We wholeheartedly engaged in each drill, occasionally even competing against one another. This not only fostered camaraderie but also reinforced our unity and team spirit.”

All-rounder Shadab Khan:

“It has been a new experience training at these marvelous facilities under the watchful eyes of the Pakistan Army trainers. Undoubtedly, all the cricketers will return with improved fitness levels and standards that will significantly contribute when they take the field in the upcoming challenges. The fitter our players are during the season, the greater our chances of success will be.”

-ENDS-

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