Jharkhand makes Yo-Yo test mandatory across age groups

The cricketers in the U-19 and Ranji Trophy teams need to have figures of 16.1 — equivalent to that of the national team.

Jharkhand State Cricket Association, like the Indian team has made Yo-Yo test as parameter for selection.   -  K. Murali Kumar

There could be debates over its effectiveness, but then, Yo-Yo test remains the flavour of Indian cricket at the moment.

Now, toeing the lines of the national team — which has made the Yo-Yo test as the main parameter for selection — Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s home state, Jharkhand, has also made the test compulsory for all its players across age groups.

That’s not all.

While the cricketers in the U-19 and Ranji Trophy teams need to have figures of 16.1 — equivalent to that of the national team — the U-16 cricketers need to have figures of 16.5. That, interestingly, is higher than the preferred score in the national camp.

“The tests will be held in September, but we have already informed all the boys about it and we are taking the test very seriously,” Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) secretary, Debasish Chakraborty, told Sportstar.

Even though the season is still a couple of months away, the state association has already started its camp under the watchful eyes of coach Rajiv Kumar. A long-serving coach, Rajiv was the fielding coach with Chennai Super Kings in the last Indian Premier League edition.

“We are taking fitness matters very seriously and the coaches and the support staff are working hard to ensure that we are prepared perfectly before the season,” Chakraborty said. To make sure that the players are prepared for the Yo-Yo test, the association has also roped in V.P. Sudarshan, the former strength and conditioning coach of the Indian team.

With the Yo-Yo test becoming a must, almost all the state associations are opting for the fitness regime, but by keeping a higher benchmark for the U-16 players, Jharkhand actually gone a step ahead. “It is mandatory for all the players and this will be of great help to them,” Chakraborty added.

If Rajiv will look after the senior team, two of Jharkhand’s former cricketers — Manish Bardhan, Kuldeep Sharma have been named as coaches for the junior teams.

Interestingly, the academy, run by the association, has also started functioning recently and Chakraborty admitted that the academy will help the players get better exposure and more opportunities. Former cricketers Rajesh Verma and Chanchal Dattagupta have been given charges of the academy.

After a forgettable outing in the Ranji Trophy last season, Dhoni’s state side has started early this season to make sure that the house is in perfect order before the season begins.

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