Fitness issue has been plaguing West Indies for last couple of years: Pollard

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St John’s [Antigua], January 8 (ANI): West Indies limited-overs skipper Kieron Pollard has urged his teammates to maintain their fitness levels and not let complacency creep in.

The swashbuckling batter also said that the fitness levels within the side have been plaguing them for the last couple of years and it is high time that the scenario changes.

“It has been an issue that has been plaguing us for the last couple of years. One way to look at it is, the selection policy, the fitness policies are there. Guys know exactly what is needed to represent the West Indian team. Sometimes, as individuals, we take it for granted. Yes, sometimes it hinders the process of selecting the best players at the given available time,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Pollard as saying.

“Things happened during the pandemic – security reasons – all these played a factor. But fitness has been one issue that has affected us in terms of trying to put our best team and sometimes, it’s frustrating because you don’t have the guys fit and available to represent the team,” he added.

Pollard has himself recovered from a hamstring issue and he was on the sidelines for four-six weeks. For the series against Ireland, left-handed batter Shimron Hetmyer was dropped because he was unable to maintain his fitness levels.

“I will also say that it’s an individual thing, they are supposed to pride themselves on being fit, performing and doing what is necessary for the team. When these things tend to happen, as an individual, I am sure it doesn’t bode well to us too. Again, this is something I take very personally – fitness – and me being not able to participate because of injury – because that doesn’t go too well with myself. Hence I got an opportunity to detour and recover and hopefully, I can stay with the team because I pride myself on that,” said Pollard.

“For me, as an individual, the most I could do is try to make the guys understand the importance of fitness,” Pollard said. “When we are on tour, I can safely say there is no issue as to when the guys have to do their stuff in terms of what is required for the team and when they have to train in schedules. We tend to have these conversations, but I think the difficult part is when the guys leave from tour with responsibilities and with instructions and, sometimes, they don’t follow it. And then they come back on tour and they start from ground zero,” he added.

West Indies and Ireland will lock horns in three ODIs and one T20I. The first ODI will be played on Saturday evening at Sabina Park, Jamaica. (ANI)


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