West Indies news

WICB slams player fitness levels

Cricinfo staff

September 2, 2010

Comments: 14 | Text size: A | A

Narsingh Deonarine works one off his hips, West Indies v South Africa, 3rd Test, Barbados, 1st day, June 26, 2010
Narsingh Deonarine has been heavily criticised by the WICB for his apparent indifference to physical fitness © AFP
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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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Dr_Zeus on (September 8, 2010, 16:14 GMT)

I am happy that the present board is finally taking action with regards to our irresponsible cricketers. I think our team is one of the few which has so many unfit players who are obviously ill disciplined when it comes to that aspect of their game. I think that any sportsman or woman who plays professionally should aim for the highest for of fitness which will definitely result in an improvement of his/her performances. Lack of fitness causes lack of focus and lack of focus causes lack of discipline on the field of play. The present actions of the board, in my opinion, can only result in an improvement of the game of our players and I commend them for boldly taking that initiative....

Posted by hazeltine on (September 4, 2010, 16:19 GMT)

The fact that Sarwan, Taylor, and Deonarine have been dropped because of their lack of fitness for playing Tests, is an indication of how INSIPID AND HOW WEAK the WIndies Cricket Board is. Everybody who has knowledge about WIndies cricket knows that in the 80s we were the fittest team because of Dennis Waight. When the new generation of young players rejected his training methods, the WICB should have been strong enough to tell them if they don't want to put the work in then GET LOST. instead they acceded to those players wishes hence their decline in which they cannot bat, bowl or field competently. Even now there are still some in the side I would drop because of their fitness and attitude (Hello Gayle and Benn).

Posted by   on (September 3, 2010, 23:10 GMT)

When I read that Deonarine, Sarwan, Ramdin, and Taylor were not offered contracts my first thoughts were that this is another "shoot from the hip" spin off result of the ongoing battle with WIPA. Although I have not yet heard the player's side of the story, I anticipate that this maybe the first time that I agree with WICB. The fact of the matter is that cricket is now a sport for professional athletes and whether you are a footballer, or baseball player the managerment and coach need to insist upon player fitness if the team is to be competitive. You cannot expect to play for Manchester United and refuse to follow their fitness or rehabilitation program, ALEX would drop you without a thought! The good news is that these players have it within their power to fix the problem. Good Luck to them and as supporters let's not encourage unprofessional attitudes. The fit physical appearance of players from Austrialia, South Africa and England remind me of the West Indies in the 80s !!!

Posted by soss on (September 3, 2010, 18:13 GMT)

I am glad the WICB come two there senses now....sarwan feels jus bec he is a top player on the side he will not get drop but look at all his dismissal he throw away his wicket when he does be looking in good nick...i like sarwan but he needs 2 be more consistant..same goes 2wards Ramdin...thas y Australia is 1 of the best...in the world....!!!once u fail u will be drop....!!!they should start paying the players on how they perform that is when u will see the best of the side...

Posted by bcljerome on (September 3, 2010, 16:24 GMT)

I agree, why should WICB pay them for a year to do nothing to improve themselves. Sarwan best batsman? or best when cover driving for 4 only? are people not looking at his recent stats. all they studying is money.... they don't deserve a cents based on their performance. they are ranked above bangladesh and zimbabwe, yet always running down money, getting it and still performing way below average standards. deonarine, dowlin, and ramdhin performance is on par which schoolboy cricket. they want to be paid cricketers, then be a PROFESSIONAL, work hard and perform.

Posted by ajay12 on (September 3, 2010, 15:14 GMT)

This is ridiculous. I would love to know who is the people responsible for this embarassment? I agree with sacking ramdin and dowlin but thats it. Taylor is the region's best bowler and sarwan is second to none as an allround batsman. I dont see how you can drop them and give non-performers like Pollard and darren bravo a contract. Its the petulance, nepotism and racism that has plagued cricket. Just as Barath was given no recognition for being the top scorer in the 2020 championships. The WICB are a bunch of has beens. We are worst off than pakistan and Zimbabwe right now. It is unsettling the complete idiocracy that has plagued contract allocations. I truly hope the selectors pay for this. Cricket is about the fans who want to see skills and entertainment, when has pollard, darren bravo, nikita miller and ravi rampaul offer up skills? I can recall numerous times taylor and sarwan have.... think people, windies arent worth the cloth of thier uniforms anymore thanks to the selectors.

Posted by decaby on (September 3, 2010, 14:44 GMT)

whow... whow... how fit is benn... is there a more lethargic cricketer that benn... deonarine is pathetic in terms of fitness... so why drop sarwan when he is in your top three better batsman in the team... this is so funny to me the revival to WI cricket... kudos to dropping ramdin its been long over due

Posted by delastbastion on (September 3, 2010, 14:12 GMT)

The award of central contracts is flawed in much the same recently selected WI teams are flawed and unbalanced. There is no balance to the award of contracts in other words we really dont have a balanced team under contract....a team obligated to represent the WI. e.g who is the #3 bat?...who is the #6 bat(all leading teams have a quality #6 capable of scoring 100's, where is wk on central contract?. 3 openers in bharath, gayle n smith is good, however no proven or groomed #3, chanders 4, nash 5, bravo/pollard 6?...hmmmm, no wk #7, sammy/shilingford #8, benn/miller#9, rampaul #10, Roach/pascal #11. GET IT RIGHT REVISE THE AWARDS AND SEEK BALANCE FIRST....from there we can tweak and improve.

Posted by blackie on (September 3, 2010, 13:01 GMT)

seems like its going to take us a while to accept that while our boys are not bad people, they are products of the 'easy money' generation. this ability to fill our pockets with cash in a short space of time is part of the music industry, the illegal drugs trade and the professional sports world. the days of 'eating by the sweat of your brow' are unknown to many of our youngsters, and most want to keep it that way. think about this; suppose you grew up poor but developed good cricket skills and you could work really hard and make a million dollars a year or hardly work and make 100,000 a year, the one you choose would be determined by your drive, personal ambition and character. professional sport overpays many underachievers and WIPA keeps making it worse.

Posted by NBRADEE on (September 3, 2010, 11:05 GMT)

All of this is particularly interesting, as I do recall that prior to one tour Mr. Taylor was deemed by those completing assessments of all the players under consideration at the time to be "at a level of fitness significantly surpassing his peers". Go figure! However, if these statements are true, it is indeed the right move to make as team management must be consistent for all and not a few. I beseech the WICB to announce the establishment of a CONTINUOS mental preparation strategy to ensure that the skill and competence of players around the region is harnessed with a single mind focus for success, something that is present in the Australian team in their technical make-up.

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