West Indies limited-overs captain Kieron Pollard has urged his teammates to maintain their fitness level and not let decency take a toll. The flamboyant batsman also said that fitness issues within the team have been bothering him for the past few years and it is high time the scenario changes.
“It has been an issue that has been troubling us for the last few years. One way to look at it, is the selection policy, the fitness policies. Guys know what is required to represent the West Indies team. Sometimes- Sometimes, personally, we take it lightly. Yes, sometimes it hinders the process of selecting the best players at the time available,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Pollard as saying.
“Things happened during the pandemic – for safety reasons – all these played a factor. But fitness has been an issue that has affected us in terms of trying to put in our best team and sometimes, it’s frustrating because You don’t have people fit and available to represent the team,” he said.
Pollard himself has recovered from a hamstring problem and was in isolation for four-six weeks. For the series against Ireland, left-handed batsman Shimron Hetmyer was dropped as he was unable to maintain his fitness level.
“I would also say that it is an individual thing, they should pride themselves on being fit, performing and doing what is necessary for the team. When these things happen, as an individual, I am sure That’s not a sign that it’s good for us either. Again, it’s something that I take for granted personally – fitness – and because of an injury I haven’t been able to participate in – because it doesn’t go very well with me. So I got a chance to go around and recover and hopefully, I can stay with the team because I’m proud of that,” Pollard said.
“For me, as a person, I can try to explain to people the importance of fitness,” Pollard said. “When we are on tour, I can safely say that there is no problem what is required of the team and when they have to train in the schedule. We do have talks like that, but I think The tricky part is when people leave the tour with responsibilities and instructions and sometimes, they don’t follow through. And then they come back on the tour and they start from ground zero.”
There will be three ODIs and one T20 match between West Indies and Ireland. The first ODI will be played on Saturday evening at Sabina Park, Jamaica.
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