West Indies news September 2, 2010

WICB slams player fitness levels

Cricinfo staff

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has backed the decision of its selection committee not to offer central retainer or developmental contracts to Ramnaresh Sarwan, Jerome Taylor or Narsingh Deonarine. When these three, along with Denesh Ramdin and Travis Dowlin, were cut from the contracts list it was suggested that the fitness of Sarwan, a former captain, and Deonarine was "deemed unsatisfactory".

Taylor, the fast bowler, was not helped by his limited availability and alleged questionable approach to his rehabilitation following a back injury when the WICB contracts for the period from October 1 were announced.

"The team management, selection committee and the WICB are concerned about Sarwan's extremely indifferent attitude and sporadic approach towards fitness, particularly in recent years," read a statement released by the board.

"It is the considered view of the selection committee, following consultations with the specialists in the team management, that Ramnaresh's less-than-satisfactory and fluctuating fitness levels have directly contributed to multiple injuries thereby causing him to be unavailable for selection to the West Indies team."

Sarwan, who was most recently affected by a hamstring problem, has not played a Test since 2009 although he appeared in four ODIs and seven Twenty20s this year. He has a top score of 100 not out against Ireland but was less effective when facing the better teams. Taylor was sent home from the tour of Australia late last year with back stress fractures and has made only nine limited-overs appearances since then.

"The WICB is disappointed with Taylor's lack of commitment to his own rehabilitation following injuries sustained in Australia in 2009 and in the ICC World Twenty20 2010," continued the statement. "Jerome, despite being under retainer contract, has not shown the expected attendance and commitment to pursue the required assessment and consequent rehabilitative programmes that would be required.

"Further it has been explained to Jerome that his physical make-up requires a specific programme of fitness and exercise to ensure his availability to play cricket at the highest level and avoid frequent breakdowns. There has not been a demonstrated commitment to achieve that level of fitness and ensure that he can perform consistently at the highest level."

The statement also made particular mention of Deonarine as a player whose attitude towards fitness and training continued to be unsatisfactory "despite the official notice".

"Deonarine's level of fitness is regrettably, unacceptable for an international cricketer," read the statement in a hard-hitting indictment of the player's physical condition. "His results are below par in the majority of fitness tests conducted by the team management specialists. Narsingh, despite numerous opportunities, continues to show gross disregard for his fitness. Team management has pleaded with, beseeched and cajoled Narsingh to improve his overall fitness but to no avail."