London: Bangladesh Cricket Board”>Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has chosen to raise the beep-test requirement at the domestic level in order to address the dropping fitness levels among the men’s players in the country.
The national selectors have instructed the first-class teams to only pick players who reach at least 11 on the test, an increase by two levels from last season.
“We have noticed that the fitness of the national players is very poor. The coach Russell Domingo asked, what sort of fitness is this? I have never seen such fitness of players in South Africa. We cannot suddenly increase the fitness-level requirements. We cannot reach the mark of 13 points in the beep test or even go above that,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted BCB President Nazmul Hassan as saying.
“So, there has been a decision regarding this, that if we keep the fitness acceptance levels so low in the domestic or lower-tier competitions from where the players get into the national side, then naturally the players in the national side will only score nine or ten in the beep test. Now let’s see. We have taken the decision after considering everything. I think we have to improve the fitness,” he added.
However, this latest addition was made known to players just three weeks prior to the commencement of the domestic season and this has not gone down well with some of the cricketers.
Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful opined that the players who are in the national side or in the high-performance camp will get the necessary facilities to raise their fitness levels.
“It wouldn’t have been any problem to get 11 if we were given proper training facilities in the off-season. I got 11.5 last year, but these facilities are only available to the national team, the high-performance side and the Under-23 team. I remain hopeful that I can do 11.5 this year too since I never had fitness concerns when playing for Bangladesh,” Ashraful said.
All the first-class sides will announce their squads after the fitness test, which is likely to be held on October 1.
Bangladesh’s domestic competition begins from October 5.