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Pak has worked hard on 'sharpening reflexes' to improve fielding: Ijaz Ahmed

October 27, 2011 - Dubai

Ijaz Ahmed, the assistant coach of the Pakistan team, which received flak for sloppy fielding in the first Test against Sri Lanka in the UAE, has said that the players have worked hard on sharpening their reflexes to avoid repeating the mistakes in the remaining matches.

Ahmed plays a dual role for the team- he sharpens the players' batting skills and has also taken up the task of improving their fielding skills following Pakistan's poor fielding in the first Test in Abu Dhabi that deprived them of an easy victory.

Ahmed, who has played many stupendous knocks at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, worked tirelessly with the team for the last two days.

"Fitness is the key to being a good fielder. Though I am not the fielding coach of the team and look after the batting, it was decided to sharpen our fielding," Gulf News quoted him, as saying.

"Most of the time our wicket keepers used to drop catches and our fielders hardly dropped so many catches. I think the heat in Abu Dhabi played a big role in it. It should be noted that most of our boys are around the age of 33 to 34 and it must have been hard to cope five days," he added.

Ahmed, who played in 60 Test matches and 250 One-dayers, said one has to give 100 per cent on the field to win matches.

"Fielding is a matter of flexes and if reflexes go down it is always hard to take the catches. We took all the catches in the first innings of the Abu Dhabi Test but in the second innings the boys were a bit tired. For the last two days we worked hard on sharpening our reflexes and I am sure we will not repeat the mistakes we committed in the first Test," he added.

He was also of the view that having a sense of humour is a must in coaching, as it helps the stressed cricketers relax.

"Fitness and a sense of humour go hand in hand in coaching. Humour helps the players ease out the tension. It makes players relax. Gone are the days when coaches had to be always strict with the boys," said Ahmed.


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