The Board of Control for Cricket in India has made basic fitness one of the necessary parameters if you represent India, The Indian Express reports.

Regardless of form or format, cricketers across the board have to pass the aerobic endurance or as it is popularly known, the yo-yo test, if they are to play for the country.

“The captain, coach and chief selector, along with the other members of the selection committee in consultation with the support staff (trainer and physio), have set the parameters. The fitness parameters set by the team management for athletes to be eligible for selection is non-negotiable,” said BCCI chief executive officer (CEO) Rahul Johri to The Indian Express.

But will the yo-yo test be the mandatory parameter for selection across formats?

Johri said, “Yes, but it is not the only parameter for selection. The team management, in consultation with the players, will be slowly bringing in other parameters too.”

Maintain basic score

Johri said that the current squad have cleared all the parameters, which include the yo-yo test, the globally-recognised cardio drill for international athletes. With the Sri Lanka set to visit India next month, those in contention will travel to National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru to test their stamina.

The cricketers have been told to achieve a basic score of 16.1 if they are to make the cut. However, the score will gradually increase.

“On the yo-yo scale, the grade needed to be achieved is 16.1, which is the minimum standard set for an elite international sportsman. The players have been informed of such parameters and most current players have already achieved this standard. In case of any exceptions, we’ve given them sufficient time to raise their fitness levels,” he said.

With the demands of modern day cricket high as ever, given the tournaments an Indian cricketer plays including the Indian Premier League, the management committee members have to think things through before making such tests mandatory.

Should it be a part of the selection process?

The players who reportedly missed out because of the new fitness parameters are Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh. There were reports of Amit Mishra also of failing the test.

However, pace bowler Ashish Nehra was included in the India team, an indicator that he had passed the test.

However, a senior trainer on the domestic cricket circuit said, “Ashish Nehra has been recuperating from injury and his body was perfectly rested and prepared for the test. So, it’s no surprise that he did well. He’s also someone who is very disciplined with his preparation routines. And, he is a fast bowler from the old school mindset, who runs a lot as part of his exercise rather than spend too many hours in the gym. His aerobic levels have always been high.”