KARACHI: Left-hand opener Sharjeel Khan has been given April 9 as a deadline to improve his fitness before Pakistan takes on South Africa in the first T20I on April 10 in Johannesburg, reported ESPNCricinfo.
Left-hand opener’s place in the playing XI will depend on the level of improvement in his fitness, for which he has been provided an exclusive trainer for the next three weeks.
Khan was seen running on the practice pitches as Pakistan squad members played an intra-squad 50-over match on Monday at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore. Batting coach Younis Khan was supervising the opener as he completed laps around the ground.
The tainted opener will not take part in the intra-squad matches ahead of the squad departure and will instead work on his fitness along with the Pakistan team’s coaches. Pakistan’s all-format captain Babar Azam also recently opened up on opener Sharjeel Khan’s fitness ahead of tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe.
“Sharjeel is a bit healthy but his fitness is not a major concern. He is working on improving his fitness as well but he can’t become like Shadab Khan all of a sudden. Also, he is now part of the team which is why it is important to back him,” said Babar in a virtual press conference. “Due to his fitness issues, I only asked for his inclusion in the T20 side because it was easier to adjust him in the shorter format.”