Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis has said that the national team management is working out a rotation policy for the pace bowlers to properly manage their workload with growing international and league commitments.
Waqar, a former captain and fast bowler, admitted that with a lot of international cricket lined up for Pakistan from 2021 to 2023 it had become essential now to plan out a workload management system for the pace bowlers.
"Our medical panel, our trainers and myself we now keep close eye on the workload and fitness of all the pace bowlers. Very soon with the Pakistan Super League and a lot of international cricket to follow after the competition, we will decide when to rest which player (s)," he said.
Waqar said, thankfully, Pakistan at present have a good bunch of pace bowlers to choose from for all three formats.
"We are particularly keeping a close on Shaheen Shah Afridi and he may be rested for some matches of the T20 series against South Africa as he is playing non-stop in all formats," he added.
Waqar said a group of fast bowlers including young ones in domestic cricket would also be sent for training and work to the high performance centre in Lahore to keep them ready for national duty.
He supported the workload management system of some other teams particularly England and New Zealand.
"Not only fast bowlers but workload management is now essential for all players in these Covid-19 times when players have to move from one biosecure bubble to another constantly and also spend time in quarantine."
The Pakistan coach also said the medical panel and trainers would be involved when the team management have to make a call regarding how many matches a player will play over a period of time and how he will be utilised.
Pakistan rested pacer Hasan Ali for the first T20 international against South Africa on Thursday after he returned a 10-wicket haul in the second Test against the visitors earlier this week.
Pakistan also sidelined young fast bowler Naseem Shah for the South Africa series after he was a regular member of the Test team in England and New Zealand this year and also at home against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Waqar also felt that most fast bowlers who didn't carry that much experience struggled while bowling away from home as it was natural for bowlers to feel more comfortable while bowling on home pitches and conditions.
"Pacers tend to perform better at home This is not just the case with our bowlers but bowlers around the world and yes they are a few exceptions particularly the ones with loads of international experience behind them."
PCB considering pay hike for red-ball cricketers
Pakistan's Test cricketers are expected to get a pay hike soon with the PCB aiming to stem the growing loss of interest among the young players for the red-ball format.
Pakistan chief selector Muhammad Wasim said that number of options are under consideration to stop the trend of players shying away from Test cricket.
"It is a trend that is visible not only in Pakistan but in other cricket playing nations as well," Wasim said and added that the expansion of lucrative T20 leagues around the world had added to this problem.
"The PCB is very keen to focus on improving our Test team and to ensure young players show more interest in red-ball cricket and financial incentives are under consideration," he said.
Wasim said that very soon the match fees and other incentives for red-ball players will be finalised soon.
He said he had been talking to players individually and the consensus was that financial incentives for red ball and white ball cricketers should be well matched.
"The argument is that there is more white ball cricket being played now compared to red-ball cricket including Tests so players who only play in red-ball formats have lesser opportunities to earn money," he noted.
The former Test batsman noted that some countries had already boosted match fees and given other incentives to their test cricketers.
Top Pakistani cricketers earn between USD 40,000 to 100,000 (equivalent to 16 million Pakistani rupees) from playing in a 20 to 25-day T20 foreign league whereas if a top player appears in three to four Tests in the same period, he earns approximately 3.5 to four million Pakistani rupees.
A source in the Pakistan board also confirmed that plans were also afoot to increase match fees and allowances of domestic cricketers who play in the first-class season.