Left-handers Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis could find themselves in with a chance of redemption shortly after failed fitness assessments ruled them out of this month’s one-day tour of Sri Lanka.
Cricket West Indies chief executive, Johnny Grave, revealed yesterday that fitness assessments were conducted on a biannual basis with the next one scheduled for June, but players who failed assessments could also be re-appraised.
“In our strength and conditioning policy, they’re tested twice every year. Obviously, players will be re-tested if they fail,” Grave told the Newsday publication here.
“The next testing is due in June. Players have to be at a minimum standard in order to be considered for selection.”
In announcing the 15-man squad for the Sri Lanka series yesterday, chief selector Roger Harper said both Hetmyer and Lewis had “come up short in the fitness test”.
If Hetmyer was forced to wait until June for the second fitness assessment, he would almost certainly miss out on West Indies’ three-Test tour of England from June 4-29.
The 23-year-old has been a fixture in the Test squad ever since making his debut two-and-a-half years ago, playing 16 matches and hitting five half-centuries.
Both he and Lewis featured in the Ireland series last month with contrasting success but then failed fitness tests conducted last week by Windies men’s team strength and conditioning coach, Ronald Rogers and CWI’s sports science and medicine manager, Dr Oba Gulston.
Lewis emerged as Man-of-the-Series following the Ireland ODIs but Hetmyer was dropped after failing in the two opening matches in Bridgetown, though he retained his spot for the three T20 Internationals which followed.
And with West Indies set to undertake a hectic itinerary this year – including the T20 World Cup in October – both players will be under pressure to prove their fitness under the new minimum requirements.
Grave said the fitness assessments were a critical component of the selection process and stressed the importance of players meeting the required standards.
“The fitness tests do two things. One, [it makes] sure that you fit the minimum standards required for selection. The other one [is that] every player has a personal target to hit,” the Englishman explained.
“If you miss your personal target, you can be fined two weeks’ wages. So, there are two elements to the fitness tests.
“In terms of injuries, players will conduct what is called a return-to-play policy. So, the medical screenings are for players who are carrying injuries [separately].”
As such, left-arm spinner Fabian Allen and left-handed batsman Nicholas Pooran – both of whom recovered from recent injuries to be included in the ODI squad to Sri Lanka – did not undergo the recent fitness assessments. (CMC)