They say form is temporary but class is permanent. However, when it comes to the Indian cricket team, it seems fitness should be permanent too. At least if you want to be a part of the national team irrespective of the format of the game you play. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has now made basic fitness a mandatory requirement if one wants to play for India.
Eminently known as the ‘Yo-Yo’ test, the fitness program requires players to run methodically starting with a jog to the eventual gut-busting sprint and then shuttle back and forth between two rows of cones kept 20 meters apart. According to reports, each run is timed with three beeps that are played in the background. These are the signals for start, turn and finish. With the timing between the beeps constantly decreasing, each subsequent 40-meter circuit requires more speed. Getting beaten twice by the beep means the end of the test. The final score is determined by the laps completed and the speed gathered. BCCI has kept 16.1 as the par score to pass the test, which is the minimum standard for an elite athlete. The whole process is monitored through software.
“The captain, the coach, and chief selector, along with the other members of the selection committee in consultation with the support staff, have set the parameters. The fitness parameters set by the team management for athletes to be eligible for selection are non-negotiable,” BCCI CEO Rahul Johri told The Indian Express.
The Yo-Yo test was developed by Danish soccer physiologist Jens Bangsbo to test the endurance level of an individual. However, the level differs from game to game.
When asked if the yo-yo test would be the mandatory parameter for selection across formats, Johari 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.”
It seems the Indian dressing room is not only going to be a place for India’s best talent but also for some of the fittest athletes.