By Orin Davidson
It seems Royston Chase has wasted little time in attempting to regain his place in the West Indies lineup.
According to West Indies Coach Phil Simmons, Chase informed Cricket West Indies (CWI) that he a acquired 40 score on the yo-yo fitness test over the weekend, thus making himself eligible for Test selection when the Regional side takes on Sri Lanka from March 3.
Chase along with Shimron Hetmyer, Oshane Thomas and Sheldon Cottrell were omitted for the T20 and One Day International (ODI) 50 overs matches, for failing to meet the fitness requirement. The matches will precede the Tests all to be staged in Antigua.
Simmons was facing the media via zoom Sunday morning in the run-up to the Sri Lanka clash, where he reiterated his firm agreement with CWI’s new fitness policy which has become the nadir for star batsman Hetymyer, who has now suffered non selection twice for missing the standard, but which has become the main requirement for team selection.
“I am part of the selection and am in agreement with it more than anyone else,” Simmons stated from the CWI headquarters in Antigua.
The former opening batsman defended the overall fitness standard of his players, explaining that he is satisfied with their stamina levels even as repeated criticism of the players work ethic has emanated from the likes of former champion fast bowler Andy Roberts.
“Work ethic, hard work, we are making sure that people are maintaining the standards of professionalism, he said adding that every aspect of players’ well being are looked at including nutrition.
On newcomer Kevin Sinclair who clinched selection ahead of his Guyanese compatriot and fellow spin bowler Gukadesh Motie, Simmons says he likes the energy and enthusiasm he sees in the young Berbician.
He added that Sinclair did well in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 series last year as well as the just concluded Super50 Cup, 50 overs competition, won by Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday.
The coach also welcomed the return of former limited overs team captain Jason Holder, who he explained was not considered for the T20 series in New Zealand due to a scheduling issue.
On power hitting opening batsman Chris Gayle, Simmons said the 41-year-old self proclaimed “Universe Boss” is continuing to show good form moreso in the recent IPL and merits his return to the T20 squad after two years.