Saturday, 11 April 2009

Fitter than Shoaib Akhtar

I'm interested in Samit Patel and his "fitness issues". I'm also interested, then, in the obvious differentiation between England's fitness tests and Pakistan's fitness tests. Because if Shoaib Akhtar is able to make the Pakistan team, then surely Samit Patel should make the England team? If you'll note, Pakistan is ranked higher than England as a team. So theoretically, England should be more desperate than Pakistan to retain any vaguely talented players. Theoretically.

There is also the fact to consider that the ECB's main objective is to pretend they are still a major force in the cricketing nations. A threat, perhaps. Sadly, that is not so much the case now, unless of course they are playing against Bangladesh or the Netherlands, and even that isn't set in stone. So if the ECB is able to exclude players from matches based on tougher-than-Pakistan fitness tests, they succeed in pretending they take this game very seriously and have a wealth of players at their disposal should one fail a fitness test.

In any case, the best thing for Patel is to shed a few kilos and increase his stamina or whatnot. He's been picked for the T20 side, but it remains to be seen whether he makes the final XI. Getting fit shouldn't be too hard. After all, if Ian Blackwell can do it, so can he.

"Support my weight, goddammit!"

Interestingly, Pakistan's coach said this about Akhtar's fitness test:

"Akhtar has passed a tough fitness test and if he stays fit, it will be good sign for Pakistan."

If Pakistan's fitness test is tough, I shudder to think of Australia's, or indeed, England's.

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