'Powell fit and in-form' - Nevis Cricket Associations rejects claims batsman short of Windies fitness standard

By Sports Desk January 02, 2021

The Nevis Cricket Association (NCA) has strongly refuted claims batsman Kieran Powell has not made the West Indies selection fitness standard, pointing out that the player achieved the requirements in June.

Despite several key players choosing to make themselves unavailable for the upcoming Bangladesh tour, Powell was surprisingly not selected for hastily compiled ODI or squads.  In explaining the unusual situation, chief of selectors Roger Harper claimed the player had not been considered as he was yet to make the team's required fitness standard.  In a recent release, however, the NCA has vehemently disputed the claim.  The 30-year-old top-order batsman was the top scorer in the previous season of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional Super50 competition.  Powell scored 524 runs at an average of 58.22, with two 100s and two 50s.

“When questioned on the omission of Powell, Chairman of Selectors, Roger Harper, responded that Powell is ‘yet to make the fitness standard’. This statement is incorrect. When the Leeward Islands Hurricanes conducted their fitness tests on June 30th, 2020, Kieran Powell successfully passed all aspects of the tests including the yo-yo test. The results of the tests were communicated to Mr. Peter Abraham Jr., CEO of the Leeward Islands Cricket Board, shortly thereafter. These results and, in particular, as they relate to Kieran Powell ought to have been made known to Cricket West Indies and their employees as they have an interest in the fitness of all of their players,” the release read.

“Subsequently, we presume Cricket West Indies were in receipt of Kieran Powell’s successful fitness test results as Powell was included in a group of probable players that were in consideration for the West Indies tour of Bangladesh as recently as two weeks ago.”

The NCA also claimed that in the first instance of Powell failing a fitness test, alongside Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis, arrangements were made for the other two players to speedily retake the test, but no such provision was made for Powell.

The body has called the statement made by Harper ‘damaging’ and demanded a retraction, insisting the player is both fully fit and obviously in good form.

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