Patel axed over fitness fears

All-rounder dropped for 'unacceptable standard of fitness'

Last Updated: 04/03/09 8:22pm

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Patel: ignored repeated warnings over fitness

Patel: ignored repeated warnings over fitness

Sky Bet

Samit Patel has been deselected from England's Twenty20 and one-day squad for the Caribbean Tour after failing to heed "repeated warnings" over his fitness levels.

The Nottinghamshire all-rounder, 24, is currently with the England Lions in New Zealand but had been scheduled to join the full side for their limited overs matches against the West Indies.

However, Patel will not now form part of that squad having been informed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that he is not fit enough for top-level international cricket.

Uncapped Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid, already in West Indies with the Test squad, will stay on for the one-dayers as Patel's replacement.

An ECB statement read: "The decision follows Patel's failure, despite repeated warnings, to reach an acceptable standard of fitness for international cricket. He will now remain with the England Lions for the conclusion of their tour of New Zealand.

"Patel's fitness has been monitored since he returned from India in November after touring with the England one day side. He has undertaken two fitness assessments since the start of the year and on both occasions the results were unsatisfactory."

Huge demands

ECB performance director David Parsons informed Patel of the decision on Tuesday and national selector Geoff Miller insists the player must make significant progress if he is to earn a recall.

"The demands of international cricket are huge and Samit must recognise that fitness levels are a vital part of a successful team in international cricket," Miller said.

"He really needs to understand and grasp that fact because his fitness levels have regressed between his first assessment during the build up to the England Lions tour and the second Test during the first week in New Zealand."

England cricket managing director Hugh Morris added: "Samit Patel is a talented cricketer but he, like every other player who joins the senior England team, must be aware of the strict fitness criteria that will be set.

"It is extremely frustrating that Samit has not heeded the warnings of his county, Nottinghamshire, and the England national selector Geoff Miller as well as the England management and strength and conditioning team.

"In the circumstances we had no option but to deselect him from the tour."

Nottinghamshire promise help

Patel's county, Nottinghamshire, have promised to work hard with their player in a bid to allow him to "realise every ounce of his potential".

Notts director of cricket Mick Newell declared: "We will work with Samit to help him to achieve his fitness targets but it is important that he takes responsibility for his own training to address the concerns raised by the ECB.

"Structures are in place at Notts to ensure that our players work on all aspects of their fitness and we have taken big strides forwards since the appointment last season of Kevin Paxton as our fitness and conditioning coach.

"Samit is a player of unquestionable talent and it is important that he applies himself to realise every ounce of his potential."

Meanwhile, Patel's Nottinghamshire colleague Graeme Swann will, as was expected, also miss England's one-day series in the Caribbean in order to undergo elbow surgery.

"I have realised for some time that I would need surgery on the injury," said Swann, who has been replaced by Worcestershire's Gareth Batty.

"We have managed it during the tour but the medical team believe this is the best time for the operation."

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