CRICKET WEST Indies (CWI) CEO Johnny Grave has pointed out that fitness standards will be crucial when it comes to selection of players for the West Indies Test, One Day International and T20 International teams.

On Monday, CWI announced that left-handed batsmen Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer will miss the tour of Sri Lanka after failing to reach the new minimum standard fitness requirements in recent fitness assessments.

During a telephone interview, on Monday, Grave mentioned, “In our strength and conditioning policy, they’re tested twice every year. Obviously, players will be re-tested if they fail.

“The next testing is due in June,” he added. “Players have to be at a minimum standard in order to be considered for selection.”

According to the CWI CEO, “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.

“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).”

All-rounder Fabian Allen and wicketkeeper/batsman Nicholas Pooran were selected for the ODI team for Sri Lanka after overcoming recent leg injuries.

Grave mentioned, “There were some players who didn’t take part in the fitness testing. Fabian Allen, for example, got a knee injury during the India (tour). He would do a fitness test. Nicholas Pooran had a minor surgery after the Ireland series on his foot.”

He added, “Shannon Gabriel and Rakheem Cornwall didn’t do (any tests) because they’re recovering from their injuries.”

Grave noted the remaining CWI contracted players took part in their stipulated fitness tests between January 28-31 in four locations – Trinidad (including players from the Leeward Islands and Windward Islands), Guyana, Jamaica and Barbados.

The tests were conducted by the men’s team strength and conditioning coach Ronald Rogers and fellow Trinidadian, Dr Oba Gulston, who serves as the CWI Sports Science and Medicine manager.

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