New Delhi: The BCCI has decided to conduct fitness tests of players before they are picked in the national team to avoid embarrassing late withdrawals like the ones by Mohammad Shami and Ambati Rayudu from the Test and ODI sides after failing the ‘Yo-Yo’ test.
Sanju Samson was the third cricketer who could not pass the mandatory fitness test after being named in the India A ODI squad for the UK tour. The teams for the one-off Afghanistan Test, India and A tour of the UK, were announced in the middle of the IPL last month. The issue was discussed at the latest Committee of Administrators (CoA) meeting in the presence of chairman Vinod Rai, Diana Edulji, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and Saba Karim, who is the BCCI general manager of cricket operations.
“Going forward, players will be picked after they pass the fitness test. The players gave the fitness test after being picked for the UK tour because of the IPL. It puts the players in an awkward situation and it will not be repeated,” a BCCI official told PTI.
Rayudu, who had made a comeback to the Indian ODI side after a prolific IPL, too was not able to attain the fitness standard set by the team management. Therefore, Suresh Raina replaced him for the ODI series in England.
Shami, who has had off the field troubles of late, also could not ace the ‘Yo-Yo’ test and was replaced by Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini in the squad for the historic Test against Afghanistan in Bengaluru. The pacer will get another opportunity to prove his fitness before the team for the five Tests against England is picked.
In the COA meeting, it was also decided that the new teams in the upcoming Ranji Trophy including Bihar, Uttarakhand and northeastern states will play against each other in Group D and only one team will make the quarterfinals.