Media pundits and fans have been left puzzled by a fitness test that has left some players out of the Windies squad to face Sri Lanka.
Players excluded from the squad due to fitness concerns include youngsters such as Shimron Hetmyer, Sheldon Cottrell, Roston Chase, and Oshane Thomas
However, veteran players the likes of Chris Gayle (41) and Fidel Edwards (39) were not hampered by such test.
Chairman of selectors Roger Harper said the fitness of players is part the standard that is required to get selected to the West Indies team.
“I would hope it (selection) sends a message to the young players of the standards they need to attain.”
Harper said in an online press conference, “You would recall in some of the T20 games, for example in New Zealand, us losing some games and where we were deficient. I would hope the message that is sent is that these are the standards we need to attain and the sort of players that we need to have in these sort of teams; guys who will work harder at developing their skills to get to that level.”
Meanwhile, CWI Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams posited that if players failed to meet the fitness standards, selectors will be left no choice but to ignore them for selection.
“The policy asks for a minimum standard in certain aspects of fitness testing. It’s pretty simple, and it’s something all the players are aware of: failure to get to [the minimum standard] makes them unavailable for selection,” said Adams.
He said, “the four main areas that are considered would be age, individual physiological limitations, their injury history and their training history. This is standard across many high-performance environments and we’re no different. There are quite a few players at the moment who have been exempted under one of these four headings. It’s not a secret. It’s been communicated to players.”
“…If you start talking about making it provisional on whether someone has made a score or taken wickets, it doesn’t take us as a team in the direction that we want to go,” added Adams.
Harper further explained that Trinidad’s mystery spinner Sunil Narine has asked for time out to work on his game before returning to international cricket.
“Sunil Narine had indicated earlier that he is not ready to return to international cricket. He’s still fine-tuning his game and getting himself ready. From that perspective, he wasn’t considered for this series,” said Harper.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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