IPL 2021: Few IPL franchises upset with Indian team’s new fitness test, calls it ‘unfair’

IPL 2021 – Few Franchises Upset, questions BCCI’s fitness test: The new fitness test has once again come under the scanner after two potential starters, Varun Chakravarthy and Rahul Tewatia, for the T20I series between India vs England, starting Friday failed the yo-yo test. As per the fitness benchmark, a player needs to either clear the yo-yo test or the 2km time trial (8.30 minutes). However, some  Indian Premier League franchises have shown dissent towards the new test and called it ‘unfair.

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Ever since Virat Kohli took over the Indian skipper in the three formats, fitness has been one of the main criteria for selection. And on Thursday, he reiterated the same. “I expect players to abide by what’s required to be able to play for team India,” Kohli reminded during the pre-match conference.

IPL 2021 KKR’s CEO’s tounge in cheek remark on BCCI’s Fitness Test Policy: Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) CEO Venky Mysore differed from Kohli’s thought and questioned the method. In reply to cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle’s tweet apropos of Chakravarthy, Mysore said:”@bhogleharsha, he has more skills than most we have seen, but maybe a few seconds slower in a sprint…I wonder how many greats of yesteryears, cricket would have lost, based on the current “standards”!”

Mysore is not the only one to show disagreement with the new fitness test. An IPL franchise’s fitness official on condition of anonymity called the tests “unfair”.

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“Because it is not about the tests alone,” he said. “It is also about if the players have the knowledge of how to train for it, what to eat, how to hydrate for it. It’s equally crucial when the test is conducted; whether it’s pre-season, middle or end of the season.”

Another IPL franchise personnel said “it is not easy and possible for players to achieve such benchmarks if they have not been following the same fitness regimen,” Hindustan Times quoted an IPL franchise personnel.

While the duo is still with the Indian squad, they will not be available for selection until they are declared fit.

Meanwhile, the selectors have been directed to select a targeted group of players in the future beforehand, who can undergo fitness tests before being available for selection.

The selectors did it in IPL 2020, when franchises were asked to make a select group of players go through the 2-km time trial. “No franchise would have agreed to exhaust their players and risk injury, especially when they are playing a demanding tournament in bio-bubble,” the IPL franchise official said, reported Hindustan Times.