Cricket South Africa (CSA) sparked somewhat of a debate about fitness tests in cricket after excluding Dane van Niekerk from their T20 World Cup squad.
SABC News sport reporter Samantha Marie had a chat with high performance coach Paddy Upton, and for him, a player’s fitness is secondary to their performance and results.
Dane van Niekerk failed a fitness test last month, when she was unable to complete a two kilometer run in the expected time of nine minutes and 30 seconds.
The all-rounder, who has captained the team since 2016, was subsequently left out of the Proteas T20 squad ahead of the Women’s T20 World Cup on home soil.
High performance coach and fitness guru, Paddy Upton, with decades of experience under his belt — has previously worked with both the Indian and South African national men’s teams.
“For me it’s not just about… some minimum standards.”
Van Niekerk was one of the four players from the South African team who were bought at auction for the inaugural Women’s Indian Premier League, set to get underway next month.
Upton says: “One must understand… ethos of the team For CSA, a minimum standards test demonstrates a player’s commitment to fitness, discipline, and to the team culture.”
It is a concerted effort by the governing body to improve the standards in all national teams.
Upton adds: “The Indian men’s national team…still not the main show Jon Jon Smuts and Sisanda Magala were also left out of the men’s Protea’s side last year for failing to meet CSA targets.
Former Protea’s women’s opening batter Lizelle Lee, retired from international cricket in 2022, after being left out of the squad for not meeting the weight preconditions.