Benjamin welcomes fitness stipulations, urges CWI to cover all angles

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Former West Indies fast bowler and coach of the Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Winston Benjamin, has cautioned the game’s regional governing body to carefully determine the way in which its new fitness clause will be structured ahead of the 2019/20 regional cricket season.

His call came on the heels of news that players contracted by the various franchises could be fined if they fail to meet the relevant fitness requirements.

Benjamin believes tests must be tailored to each individual.

“Fitness is important in your everyday life in terms of your normal day-to-day routine. In sports, it is even more crucial and I am saying that, as a sports person, you should be fit and you ought to be fit, but I think that a yoyo test should not be the beginning and end of everything in the testing of an individual,” he said.

“Everybody’s physical makeup [is different] and your fitness level is going to be different. You are not going to tell a bodybuilder to run 30 miles, so to just test me on a yoyo test and say that I am fit or unfit is totally unfair,” he added.

Benjamin, whose contract with the Hurricanes ends this month, said he would like to continue in his capacity as coach of the sub-regional squad.

“All I was told is that I have to re-apply. I did re-apply and I am waiting for some response as to when there will be an interview or whatever the situation might be,” the coach said.

Should his application be successful, Benjamin said he would seek to have some changes made in the method currently used to prepare the team.

“Our training programme would definitely change where I would want a more one-on-one with players, so the training programme would be arranged so that I will have ‘John Tom’ for a 45-minute period instead of having him for 20 minutes and work on the shortcomings,” he said.

Benjamin claimed 61 wickets in 21 Tests and another 100 wickets in 85 One Day International (ODI) matches.

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