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Sarfaraz wants a fit Pakistan team

Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has called on all players involved with the national team to maintain their fitness levels.

The team are currently on a break from international cricket but most players will be on duty in the National T20 competition.

There have been numerous fitness issues in an up and down year for Pakistan cricket.

They have reached the number one ranking in T20I cricket and won the ICC Champions Trophy but were poor in Tests away from home in New Zealand and Australia and in the UAE against Sri Lanka.

Sarfaraz told The Express Tribune: “Me and my team are really happy to become the top-ranked T20I side.

“It is a great achievement, which came after the hard work of a year but we still have to work harder for the next series.

“We need more practice and need to work on our fitness so we can be at full-strength [against the Kiwis]. We are currently playing the National T20 Cup, which will keep the fitness of the players to a decent level but more needs doing.”

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As Pakistan gear up to return to New Zealand for a limited overs tour Sarfaraz is upbeat about their chances against a Black Caps team that were number one in the shortest format until last month.

Sarfaraz added: “Except for Test matches, we did really well in the series against Sri Lanka, but as we are going to New Zealand for ODI and T20I series, we are hopeful to perform well.

“I am optimistic that if we play with the right combinations, we will come back home with the victory.”

Sarfaraz indicated that the team are working hard on improving fitness to help them on tough tours.

He said: “When you go to play away from home, the conditions are always difficult and in favour of your opponents.

“Hence, we are working hard on our fitness.”