'Opposition teams are much sharper' April 15, 2007

Lloyd slams Windies' fitness

Cricinfo staff

Clive Lloyd believes West Indies' fitness levels are not up to scratch © Getty Images

West Indies were not fit enough to challenge opponents in better condition and needed to lift their work-rate to again become a threatening side, according to Clive Lloyd. The resignation of the team's Australian fitness coach, Bryce Cavanagh, shortly before the World Cup was a factor in their poor performances, Lloyd said.

"If you look at the opposition they were much sharper," Lloyd, the West Indies manager, told Reuters. "We did better in the ICC Trophy [losing to Australia in the final] because we had our fitness trainer and he did a lot with the guys.

"Although they probably didn't too much like his work ethic I think [Cavanagh] did a marvellous job. Fitness is 60 to 70% of your game and that is something we have to look at for the future. Fitness is one of the things I feel strongly about. The game preparation has got to be much better."

Lloyd's comments came as reports emerged that Brian Lara and the squad's training staff had struggled to get the players motivated at practice on Saturday. AP reported that players were happy to laugh and joke amongst themselves and often ignored calls from their coaches to join in new exercises.

Lloyd said it was important to develop the right work ethic before players reached the international level. "We must do something to improve our domestic cricket," he said. "It has got to be of a much better standard.

"We need the right people chosen for Tests and one-day games. At the domestic level we must have trainers that are able to put them through their paces so it won't be alien to them when they come into the first team set-up."

West Indies, who have virtually no chance of reaching the semi-finals, face Bangladesh in Barbados on Thursday. They finish the Super Eights with a match against England two days later.