Once Hetmyer is available he would be selected, says Sanasie
By Avenash Ramzan
“Once he has made himself available he would be selected to play for the franchise.”
That’s the word of Secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board, Anand Sanasie, with regards to Shimron Hetmyer.
The left-hander, who was overlooked for the West Indies upcoming ODI series against Sri Lanka over fitness concerns, was notably absent from the Guyana Jaguars 13-man squad to face Jamaica Scorpions in the fourth round of the Regional Four-day championship, starting Thursday at Providence.
The squad was released on Wednesday morning. In an invited comment, Sanasie said the franchise has not heard from the Berbician since his return from international commitments, hence rendering himself unavailable for selection.
“Hetmyer is not in the (Guyana Jaguars) squad as he has not yet reported to the (management of the) franchise since his return from Cricket West Indies duties. The franchise has been reliably informed, through Cricket West Indies, that Mr. Hetmyer would be re-tested before the (West Indies) T20 team is picked. We wish him well. Once he has made himself available he would be selected to play for the franchise,” Sanasie told News Room Sport.
According to the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Director, “players who are not on West Indies duties, but are contracted to the West Indies are supposed to report to their franchise. Since returning from West Indies duties he has not reported to the franchise for training…which automatically makes him unavailable.”
On Monday, CWI selection panel named the 15-member squad for the ODI Series against Sri Lanka, with the notable omissions being Hetmyer and fellow left-hander Evin Lewis for “failing to attain the new minimum standard fitness requirements in recent fitness assessments.”
Chief Selector Roger Harper was quoted in CWI press release as saying: “Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer missed out due to the fact that they came up short in the fitness test. They will be missed; Lewis was the team’s best batsman in the recent Colonial Medical Insurance ODI Series against Ireland where he batted with great composure and proved the bedrock for the team’s Series win. Hetmyer appeared to be getting his act together and was an integral part of the team’s batting group.”
The Caribbean side will travel to Sri Lanka on Saturday and will have a pre-series camp in Colombo before they face the hosts in three ODIs, the first of which is on February 22.
Meanwhile, according to CWI Chief Executive Johnny Grave, Hetmyer and Lewis could return in time for the T20 series if they manage to pass upcoming re-tests.
“In the case of Hetmyer he has been extremely fit and bought into the fitness standards, but for whatever reason, the test came back well below the minimum standard, but we expect him to be re-tested in two weeks. Hopefully, he’ll pass the test and be available for selection,” Grave told the SportsMax Zone.
“The squad that we have announced is for the three One Day Internationals against Sri Lanka. There are two T20 internationals after those and that squad hasn’t been selected. Hopefully, the players will re-take those tests and pass them and be available for selection.”
Grave also maintained that CWI takes little pleasure in excluding players for fitness reasons, but noted that the standards are well known and accepted.
“We’ve made it clear to the players for three years now. The last thing we want to do is to be fining any players. The last thing we want to be doing is to be downgrading a player’s contract. The last thing we want to do is to not have any of our players available for selection,” Grave told the SportsMax Zone.
“At the same time if we have really to make a difference in driving a new fitness culture in our cricket and professionalizing all elements of cricket in the West Indies, we have to have minimum standards, accountability for those standards and consequences if players don’t adhere to those standards,” he added.
According to Grave, over the last two years, CWI has been forced to fine players significant sums of money and significantly reduce their salaries over fitness concerns.