Azam Khan may lose hard-hitting power with sudden weight loss: trainer

At least give Azam Khan a chance to succeed, trainer Shehzar Mohammad says in batter's support amid criticism

By M Muzamil Asif
March 30, 2023
Pakistan cricket team's hard-hitter Azam Khan (left) talks to his trainer Shehzar Mohammad. — Screengrab/ YouTube/ Khel Shel

Pakistan cricket team's aggressive batter Azam Khan has been facing severe criticism on social media for not performing in the two matches of the T20 series against Afghanistan, after which his trainer has now come out in his support.

Shehzar Muhammad, who has trained many of Pakistan's leading cricketers, including Azam Khan and has played first-class cricket himself, termed the criticism of Azam's weight "unfair".


Speaking to, Shehzar said: "I know an athlete should look like an athlete but Azam falls in a heavyweight category. Unfortunately there are no divisions in cricket like other sports such as boxing and UFC. His weight helps him generate power".

Azam, who scored just a run in two matches against Afghanistan, suffered massive criticism for his poor reflexes behind the stumps which overshadowed what he did for Islamabad United during PSL 8.

The right-handed batter got a comeback call in the national T20I squad after he notched 282 runs in 10 PSL 8 matches. A couple of unbelievable match-winning knocks in Rawalpindi made Azam a top pick in the franchise tournament but as they say, a single bad performance in Pakistan puts a player under the knife.

Azam, who also dropped a crucial catch behind the stumps during second T20I against Afghanistan, suffered weight-related criticism once again.

Fans and also former cricketers questioned the wicket-keeper's fitness. Azam, who hardly proved himself amid weight and fitness taunts, once again meets the same old debate.

Under Shehzar's supervision a couple of years ago, Azam lost over 30kgs. His new look surprised many as it showed the hard work put in by the cricketer.

"You like Azam's sixers, his strike rate and his potential to take over the game within no time. All of that comes from his size and strength,

"I am not saying Azam doesn't need to get fit. If I give you the example of Rizwan and Shan, they are super fit and it helps them remain consistent. In Azam's case, there is a difference as he is heavy weight since childhood," he highlighted.

"Azam can lose weight but it depends on how he is looked after then. He can lose power in case of massive weight loss," he maintained.

Shehzar, who played 45 first-class matches, trained many national cricketers including Sarfaraz Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Mohammad Abbas, and Asad Shafiq.

The 31-year-old cricketer-turned-trainer urged people to not judge Azam on the basis of two bad performances. "Don't judge him on two bad performances. He has the best strike rate against top spinners in the world. You need to give him space to succeed. If you can give enough chances to Asif Ali, then why not Azam? He is mature and can win you matches," he concluded.

Azam made his T20I debut back in 2021 against England. He could only play three T20Is then and scored just six runs. So far, the wicket-keeper batter has played five T20Is for Pakistan.

However, in 112 T20 matches, Azam has scored 2245 runs at an average of 24.40 and strike rate of 142.44.