Opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite has replaced Jason Holder as West Indies Test captain, Cricket West Indies confirmed tonight.

 Shimron Hetmyer and Roston Chase are now available for selection to the West Indies teams after both players passed fitness tests during the past few days, Cricket West Indies Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams announced today.

“We had done a press conference very recently and we had explained that there were some players that had missed the minimum fitness standard for selection, two of those players have since met that standard, that’s Roston Chase and Shimron Hetmyer,” Adams said earlier today.

“They would now be available for selection for the next selection meeting around the Test matches coming up later in March.”

The players were among four that the West Indies selectors said were not named to the T20 and ODI squads to face Sri Lanka starting March 3 because they had failed fitness tests.

Hetmyer’s omission, especially, caused a bit of a stir regionally, considering that the news of his non-selection came against the backdrop of him scoring a century for the Guyana Jaguars in the semi-final of the CG Insurance Super50 semi-final against the Windward Islands Volcanoes last week Thursday.

During a press conference last Saturday, Adams, in response to questions regarding whether the selectors would consider overlooking Hetmyer’s fitness considering his current form, said that was not likely to happen.

 “The policy asks for a minimum standard in certain aspects of fitness testing.  So on the yo-yo intermittent test, that minimum standard is 40 and for a couple of years we have had selection tied to the achievement of that minimum standard,” Adams said.

“It’s pretty simple and all the players are aware of it.  Failure to get to 40 makes them unavailable for selection. So when the panel sits, the first thing that they will consider, before looking at the teams and the squads they want to put together, is who are the players that are available through achieving that minimum standard.”

Cricket West Indies (CWI) Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams, has reiterated the fact that special consideration is given to players who could have physiological limitations or chronic conditions when fitness assessment tests or conducted, as is often the case in standard international practice.

In the light of the omission of batsman Shimron Hetmyer from the West Indies squad, ahead of the tour of Sri Lanka, based on the player failing to meet the requisite fitness standards, critics have pointed fingers towards other members of the team they doubt are able to meet the requirements.

While a few expressed doubts about legendary batsman Chris Gayle’s fitness level, the majority pointed to the continued inclusion of Rahkeem Cornwall.  The off-spinner is listed as 6’ 7” and 308 pounds but has performed creditably for the West Indies on a few occasions, most recently against Bangladesh.

“As is best practice around the world, there are going to be times when players for different reasons might be unable or incapable of achieving minimum standards either across the whole battery of tests or certain aspects of it,” Adams told members of the media via a Zoom press conference call.

“There are exemptions that are given to these players and the four main areas that are considered for these exemptions would be the player’s age, individual physiological limitations, their injury history, and also their training history.  This is standard across many high-performance environments and we are no different,” he added.

“There are quite a few players that have been exempted under one of these four headings and it is something that I think maintains robustness about the situation.  If I go back and look at an Indian spinner in the 70s who had a withered arm, if he were to have an upper-body strength test he would not be able to complete that test and therefore in that area he would have to have an exemption,” Adams said.

“It is there ensuring that we do not discriminate against players that have issues, injuries, long-standing chronic things that might prevent them from completing some of these tests.”

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams, has insisted players are well aware of the minimum fitness requirements needed to be considered for selection before even individual form is considered.

Based on an agreement between CWI and the West Indies Player Association (WIPA), players must achieve a rating of 40 during the evaluative yoyo fitness test to be considered for selection. 

Adams comments come on the back of the recent non-selection of talented batsman Shimron Hetmyer for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.  The 24-year-old had looked in splendid form based on a scoring a majestic 112 in the semi-finals of the CG Insurance Super50 competition, which lifted Guyana to the final.  Hetmyer, however, clearly fell below the 40 percent stipulation.

“The policy asks for a minimum standard in certain aspects of the fitness testing.  So on the yoyo intermittent test, that minimum standard is 40 and for a couple of years we have had selection tied to the achievement of that minimum standard,” Adams told members of the media via an online press conference chat on Saturday.

“It’s pretty simple and all the players are aware of it.  Failure to get to 40 makes them unavailable for selection.  So when the panel sits, the first thing that they will consider,before looking at the teams and the squads they want to put together, is who are the players that are available through achieving that minimum standard,” he added.

The occasion was the second that Hetmyer missed out on making the minimum fitness standard, after failing a fitness ahead of a tour against Sri Lanka in February of last year.  The player last represented the team in the New Zealand series in November and was called up but opted out of the tour to Bangladesh earlier this month.  The test is conducted twice per year.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) today named Floyd Reifer as the new Head Coach of the West Indies “Rising Stars” Under-19 team. Reifer is an Australian Cricket Board (ACB) certified Level Three Coach, whose leadership experience includes being a former West Indies captain.

The former interim West Indies Head Coach and current Head Coach of the West Indies Emerging Player & High-Performance Programmes will lead the development of the squad as they prepare for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup to be played in the Caribbean in early 2022.

Reifer was chosen because of his impressive track record in building and coaching successful development teams, including the UWI Blackbirds, the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC), the West Indies Emerging Players and the West Indies ‘A’ Team.

According to CWI, as a former interim head coach for the senior team, and as batting coach for the recent tour of England, Reifer’s experience and knowledge are perfectly suited to help young West Indians understand what is needed for them to achieve global standards.

He is also a former batting coach for the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots and is the current Head Coach of the Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). 

“It is great to be coaching the young players of the West Indies and trying to guide them as we prepare for the World Cup at home,” Reifer said reacting to his appointment.

“I am excited to have already begun the work and I’m sure the young men are also very enthusiastic. In speaking to many of the possible team members, they are all eager to start the programme. They have not been playing much cricket due to the COVID-19 situation, so it is great that CWI has started to put the preparation in place for our team a year out from hosting the World Cup.

“We have solid plans. The programme we have in place is science and technology-based and it looks at all aspects of their game, including cricket fundamentals and personal development. It is very intense and based on creating an 'elite athlete' with a professional mindset. We have held meetings with coaches and the Territorial Boards and they are all happy with the direction we are going. Within that programme, we hope to have high-performance training camps during the year, the annual Under-19 Rising Stars tournament in the summer, followed by hosting the South Africa U19s for five One-Day matches in the Caribbean.”

Jimmy Adams, CWI’s Director of Cricket, said he was happy that CWI had been able to appoint Reifer to lead the Under-19 programme and take the young players through to the World Cup early next year. “The opportunity fits perfectly given his remit as our High-Performance Head Coach, a role in which he has successfully overseen our High-Performance squads in the recent past, including Emerging Players and ‘A’ teams,” Adams said.

“I would also like to thank Graeme West who coached the U19 team in the last three campaigns, including winning the Tournament in 2016. Graeme will continue to be involved in his current role as High-Performance Manager. He will provide valuable support for Floyd in the planning and execution of the programme all the way through to the World Cup next year.”

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