Victoria cricketers who have been contracted to play in England and Scotland this summer will have to undergo medical examinations and skin-fold tests before leaving. These measures are being taken to monitor the physical condition of players before the start of the Australian domestic season.
Mark Cosgrove, the promising South Australia batsman, returned overweight from a stint in England last year and was suspended from the squad until he lost weight and Greg Shipperd, the Victoria coach, is taking all precautions to prevent this problem from recurring.
"The players have to have a medical and be assessed before they go, they have to be monitored when they are over there and tested when they come back," Shipperd told Fox Sports. "It's building a history of how does a player leave, how does he come back. But I don't have a great concern with them other than they come back weary, mentally weary from the game."
The players to be tested are Shane Warne, Brad Hodge, Mick Lewis, Shane Harwood, Dirk Nannes, Simon Dart and Allan Wise.
"I'll be sitting on the edge of my seat hoping all of those blokes come back healthy," Shipperd added. "It is a physical challenge for them to present, year after year, without the appropriate rest and recovery."
Victoria has also postponed its recruiting campaign until it finds out how many of its players will be awarded Cricket Australia contracts for next season.
Jonathan Moss, the allrounder, has expressed his wish to remain with Victoria while batsman Graeme Rummans, who was in and out of the side this season, is considering an offer to return to his native New South Wales.
"We're in discussion with him [Rummans]," Shipperd said. "There is still a significant part of him that wants to stay and play. He enjoys Melbourne and its lifestyle. His old club, St George, has been pretty strong in chasing him, I'm told, but I'm sure there are a number of clubs here who will be saying: Do you want to come and play for us?"