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Old 2nd May 2009, 21:02   #321
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Thje other reason would be that every single other player would have met the fitness standards except him. If you have these standards and play him anyway, why bother to have standards? We arent talking Don Bradman here either - top score of 31 and 11 wickets isnt good enough to justify specail treatment.

Its not just the ECB - KP called him fat and lazy too. The England selectors are unhappy, his county coach is unhappy and didnt defend him. Its looking like its him to me.

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Old 2nd May 2009, 21:33   #322
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Thje other reason would be that every single other player would have met the fitness standards except him. If you have these standards and play him anyway, why bother to have standards? We arent talking Don Bradman here either - top score of 31 and 11 wickets isnt good enough to justify specail treatment.

Its not just the ECB - KP called him fat and lazy too. The England selectors are unhappy, his county coach is unhappy and didnt defend him. Its looking like its him to me.
Patel should have pointed out that may be so, but at least he isnt in the game purely for the money like that mercenary ****in **** is.

Any road, he can chill out on a chaise longue like Imzaman for me while everyone else trains just as long as he keeps on performing for Notts like he has been. If his standard drops, then its another story.

As for England, Im a County man first, so Im more than happy with the ECB's stance.
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Old 2nd May 2009, 21:54   #323
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Thje other reason would be that every single other player would have met the fitness standards except him. If you have these standards and play him anyway, why bother to have standards? We arent talking Don Bradman here either - top score of 31 and 11 wickets isnt good enough to justify specail treatment.
Fitness standards are only relevant if in principle anyone falling short of them won't be good enough at cricket to play for England. But then why not just drop him for not being good enough at cricket to play for England?

Your mention of his runs and wickets is relevant. Perhaps they dropped him for not performing well enough with bat and/or ball. They why did they make out that he was dropped on account of something completely different? Wouldn't it be ridiculous if fat people had to be given special treatment -- to get past the "no fatties allowed" rule -- just in order to be judged by the same yardstick as everyone else, ie. in terms of their cricketing performance?
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Old 2nd May 2009, 22:08   #324
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Originally Posted by sanskritsimon View Post
Fitness standards are only relevant if in principle anyone falling short of them won't be good enough at cricket to play for England. But then why not just drop him for not being good enough at cricket to play for England?

Your mention of his runs and wickets is relevant. Perhaps they dropped him for not performing well enough with bat and/or ball. They why did they make out that he was dropped on account of something completely different? Wouldn't it be ridiculous if fat people had to be given special treatment -- to get past the "no fatties allowed" rule -- just in order to be judged by the same yardstick as everyone else, ie. in terms of their cricketing performance?
In Patel's case it's quite easy. He's clearly an up and coming cricketer, whose so far played limited overs cricket. He needs to be sharp in the field, he needs to turn those ones into twos when batting and he needs to keep his fitness up for when he bowls, no need to do that intercostal muscle something that fatties have often had problems with if they are bowlers.

Oh and sanskrit be aware that Prior has only just passed the bleep tests as well according to those reports, that would tally with my opinion that his lack of natural athleticism is rather a big problem with him when it comes to his keeping. Perish the thought!
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Old 3rd May 2009, 01:41   #325
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In Patel's case it's quite easy. He's clearly an up and coming cricketer, whose so far played limited overs cricket. He needs to be sharp in the field, he needs to turn those ones into twos when batting and he needs to keep his fitness up for when he bowls, no need to do that intercostal muscle something that fatties have often had problems with if they are bowlers.
But I don't get it. Everyone needs to be sharp in the field. Everyone needs to turn those ones into twos when batting. Everyone needs to be fit to bowl as required by the captain and not do their intercostals in. But where is the evidence that Patel is any worse at these things than anybody else? If you can only find evidence for this within his girth and bleep tests, then I contend it is not relevant evidence. But if you can find evidence for this in his not performing well enough on the cricket field to represent England, then I contend that the bleep tests and girth are completely beside the point, and that he should be dropped simply for not being good enough at cricket. Indeed, the mention of any official reason for dropping him other than "We don't think he's part of our best possible team for this match" must inevitably smack of the possibility that he actually is part of the best possible team for the match, but that there's something else making them not want him in it. Which is, to my ears at least, a somewhat unpleasant possibility, innit.

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Oh and sanskrit be aware that Prior has only just passed the bleep tests as well according to those reports, that would tally with my opinion that his lack of natural athleticism is rather a big problem with him when it comes to his keeping. Perish the thought!
Here I would beware of equating natural athleticism with gym performance and visual abdominal impact. With Prior it seems that he is simply not a very good wicketkeeper. Losing weight might help a bit perhaps, but that's probably truer in general of lardy keepers than it is of lardy non-keepers. Even so, when they dropped Prior they didn't drop him for being fat and unfit, they dropped him for not keeping well enough.

Sorry to go on about this. It's not as if I have any especial fondness for Patel; it's the principle of the thing.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 01:44   #326
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I'm a huge fan of Samit Patel's talent, but it isn't as if he's made an unanswerable case to be included in England's ODI side as he has scored all of one List A hundred.

Maybe if he got himself properly fit he'd have a better conversion record.

It isn't as if stamina will become less of an issue when he plays in hot and humid climates either.

This isn't about him being fat (Rob Key isn't the slimmest), it's about him being fit enough and by all accounts he isn't currently fit enough. I've no sympathy whatsoever because he's been told the standards necessary, yet despite a top-score in ODIs of 31, he thinks he's already good enough.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 01:46   #327
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But I don't get it. Everyone needs to be sharp in the field. Everyone needs to turn those ones into twos when batting. Everyone needs to be fit to bowl as required by the captain and not do their intercostals in. But where is the evidence that Patel is any worse at these things than anybody else? If you can only find evidence for this within his girth and bleep tests, then I contend it is not relevant evidence. But if you can find evidence for this in his not performing well enough on the cricket field to represent England, then I contend that the bleep tests and girth are completely beside the point, and that he should be dropped simply for not being good enough at cricket. Indeed, the mention of any official reason for dropping him other than "We don't think he's part of our best possible team for this match" must inevitably smack of the possibility that he actually is part of the best possible team for the match, but that there's something else making them not want him in it. Which is, to my ears at least, a somewhat unpleasant possibility, innit.

Here I would beware of equating natural athleticism with gym performance and visual abdominal impact. With Prior it seems that he is simply not a very good wicketkeeper. Losing weight might help a bit perhaps, but that's probably truer in general of lardy keepers than it is of lardy non-keepers. Even so, when they dropped Prior they didn't drop him for being fat and unfit, they dropped him for not keeping well enough.

Sorry to go on about this. It's not as if I have any especial fondness for Patel; it's the principle of the thing.
Where's your proof that this stuff doesn't affect him?

One hundred in 86 List A games hardly shouts out England material does it?
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Old 3rd May 2009, 01:52   #328
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The Patel fitness issue is a slightly tricky one. I have some sympathy with the argument that his fitness is only relevant as far as his results are; considering he's a good fielder, by all accounts, it doesn't hold him or the team back if he's doing well.

In some sense I think England have got themselves stuck; by deselecting him on fitness grounds, they cannot really pick him again until he has made improvements, which clearly has not happened. Which is where it spills over into being an attitude problem, which is arguably worse than his substandard bleep tests (do they still even use those?) You would expect an aspiring international cricketer to try and get something specific done which the selectors have told him - in the least uncertain terms possible - needs to happen. If he doesn't, he's either lazy or arrogant.

On the fitness issue itself, one point may be dealing with a volume of international cricket. It's all very well saying he can cope consistently on the county circuit, but it must be under question whether he could sustain performances over, say a 5 match ODI series squeezed into 12 days, with internationals being that much more mentally and physically draining. Finally it may just be that Patel is being made an example, which is hard cheese for him, but hardly undeserved, or bad for the England team going forward.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 02:18   #329
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I still remember a televised county one-day game where Patel made a really good 50 but then was visibly blowing. Was a couple of years ago at least... but it sticks in the mind, and you wonder how much better his fitness is now. I think it must be somewhat improved from that day, but evidently not enough.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 02:22   #330
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Why on earth not? I agree about it being too public - although this might be because it hasnt worked in private.

There is, of course, another England player who was a "fat lad" in his younger days which may (or may not) help explain the injuries he has suffered constantly over the last 4 years. This may be part of the ECBs concern.
Maybe, but then Flintoff's workload as a pace-bowling all-rounder is much greater, and a lot of his issues have been with his ankle. I doubt if Patel, as a spin-bowling all-rounder, would suffer the same, although that doesn't make it a bad idea to have a minimum standard.

Everyone else is making the standard, including the likes of Key and Prior who are not exactly the greatest athletes. If they can do it then Patel should be able to as well.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 03:05   #331
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Where's your proof that this stuff doesn't affect him??
Don't have any. The point is that we don't need to know what's affecting him. We just need to know the effect, whatever it might or might not be the effect of. That should be enough on its own, regardless of what's causing it, for us to make a judgement of whether he's good enough.

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One hundred in 86 List A games hardly shouts out England material does it?
Now you're talking. But then if he's just not good enough at performing, who cares why? It's beside the point. Just pick someone who performs better.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 07:12   #332
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But I don't get it. Everyone needs to be sharp in the field. Everyone needs to turn those ones into twos when batting. Everyone needs to be fit to bowl as required by the captain and not do their intercostals in. But where is the evidence that Patel is any worse at these things than anybody else? If you can only find evidence for this within his girth and bleep tests, then I contend it is not relevant evidence. But if you can find evidence for this in his not performing well enough on the cricket field to represent England, then I contend that the bleep tests and girth are completely beside the point, and that he should be dropped simply for not being good enough at cricket. Indeed, the mention of any official reason for dropping him other than "We don't think he's part of our best possible team for this match" must inevitably smack of the possibility that he actually is part of the best possible team for the match, but that there's something else making them not want him in it. Which is, to my ears at least, a somewhat unpleasant possibility, innit.
This of course is subjective and mentioned by Shakkatak below. However not being noticeably fit is clearly a limitation on being able to accomplish the things that I mention. If these attributes are compromised by not being fit enough then clearly it puts a limitation on him on being in the best XI. For instance he is a marginal call for being in the England LOI squad and therefore if the selectors feel his qualities are compromised by his lack of fitness then I have to say that I back their judgement.



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Here I would beware of equating natural athleticism with gym performance and visual abdominal impact. With Prior it seems that he is simply not a very good wicketkeeper. Losing weight might help a bit perhaps, but that's probably truer in general of lardy keepers than it is of lardy non-keepers. Even so, when they dropped Prior they didn't drop him for being fat and unfit, they dropped him for not keeping well enough.

Sorry to go on about this. It's not as if I have any especial fondness for Patel; it's the principle of the thing.
Yes Prior isn't a very good wicketkeeper but my argument was that his lack of natural athleticism/agility is a key factor in him not being a very good keeper. He doesn't have the movement, quickness of footwork, the ease to cover the ground necessary to make what looks an awkward take look comfortable, attributes that the likes of Foster/Read/Ambrose in comparison do have. I suspect that Prior does put in a lot of work on his fitness (this is a guess mind) but his lack of natural athleticism is an obvious limitation for him.

I'm surprised that on this issue that you haven't made the connection, because I've thought its been glaringly obvious ever since his inclusion.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 08:23   #333
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Fitness standards are only relevant if in principle anyone falling short of them won't be good enough at cricket to play for England. But then why not just drop him for not being good enough at cricket to play for England?

Your mention of his runs and wickets is relevant. Perhaps they dropped him for not performing well enough with bat and/or ball. They why did they make out that he was dropped on account of something completely different? Wouldn't it be ridiculous if fat people had to be given special treatment -- to get past the "no fatties allowed" rule -- just in order to be judged by the same yardstick as everyone else, ie. in terms of their cricketing performance?
But that is exactly what a fitness standard is - the powers that be are saying to be good enough to play for England, among other things, you have to meet these criteria. He hasnt. Simple.

Why they would drop him for not performing and then say theyve done it for other reasons is mystery to me.

"Wouldn't it be ridiculous if fat people had to be given special treatment". But its you who are arguing that Patel should get special treatment arent you?


I assume they also have standards of behaviour. Flintoff, for example, was dropped after the Pedalo incident. Your argument would presumably also be that this was wrong because he was good enough to play. In fact anything goes as long as you do well on the field.

Which, of course Samit, unlike Freddie, hasnt yet.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 09:39   #334
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Patel reminds me of Fat ******* in Austin Powers.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 11:15   #335
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"Wouldn't it be ridiculous if fat people had to be given special treatment". But its you who are arguing that Patel should get special treatment arent you?
No, I'm not, as I've explained, as clearly as I can. I've argued until I'm blue in the face that Patel, just like everybody else, should be judged according to whether or not he is one of the best available cricketers. Unfortunately, although I've now said the same thing many times in slightly different ways, it doesn't seem to be helping.

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I assume they also have standards of behaviour. Flintoff, for example, was dropped after the Pedalo incident. Your argument would presumably also be that this was wrong because he was good enough to play. In fact anything goes as long as you do well on the field.

Which, of course Samit, unlike Freddie, hasnt yet.
As I pointed out, this last comment is absolutely relevant to the discussion; but in being so it makes all reference to Samit's fitness and girth irrelevant as far as his selection is concerned. Because if you pick the team, as you should, according to who is likely to perform best, as judged by recent cricketing performance, then you don't need to speculate about the specific reasons why a particular player isn't performing / won't perform very well. For some it may be domestic problems; for some it may be mental toughness; for some it may be that they hate the captain; for some it may be technical issues; for some it may be injury niggles; for some it may be concentration problems; for some it may be fatness; for some it may be that they are allergic to what the dinner ladies serve up. If people want to be picked, it's their business to sort it out, whatever it is, and get their performances up to standard by hook or by crook. But the selectors don't need to offer any diagnosis in individual cases; they just have to pick the 11 best performers as they see it.

The pedalo analogy is relevant if you wish to view Patel's dismissal as a disciplinary issue unrelated to likely on-field performance. Which I am beginning to think might be a fruitful way of looking at it.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 11:26   #336
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But that is exactly what a fitness standard is - the powers that be are saying to be good enough to play for England, among other things, you have to meet these criteria. He hasnt. Simple.
Yes, but if it were actually true that in order to be good enough at cricket to play for England one has to reach a certain standard of fitness, then there would be no reason for the selectors to comment upon anyone's fitness. They would be able to select people for being good enough, and drop people for not being good enough, without thinking about fitness at all. Coincidentally it would then also be the case that no one who doesn't reach a certain level of fitness will get picked, and that for some of those who are dropped, their being dropped (for not being good enough) could be correlated with their drop in fitness. But these would only be incidental facts.

The problem is that if and as soon as the selectors decide that fitness is a crucial issue and start selecting or deselecting on the basis of it, it can no longer be convincingly claimed that there is an exact correlation between fitness and performance; because in fact the selectors have stopped being barometers of performance, and have started playing another game.

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Old 3rd May 2009, 11:32   #337
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I'm surprised that on this issue that you haven't made the connection, because I've thought its been glaringly obvious ever since his inclusion.
There may indeed be a connection. Yet they didn't drop him for being unfit. They dropped him for not being a good enough keeper. And notably his way of getting back into the team was not to lose three stone, become as fit as a Stradivarius, and improve his keeping that way. As I heard it, he concentrated on technical issues with his keeping, carried on scoring even more runs, and obtained Alec Stewart as a high-profile advocate.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 11:47   #338
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There may indeed be a connection. Yet they didn't drop him for being unfit. They dropped him for not being a good enough keeper. And notably his way of getting back into the team was not to lose three stone, become as fit as a Stradivarius, and improve his keeping that way. As I heard it, he concentrated on technical issues with his keeping, carried on scoring even more runs, and obtained Alec Stewart as a high-profile advocate.
Yes they dropped him for keeping poorly but as I say many of his keeping issues are from him not being naturally agile as distinct from being overweight. I'm sure he actually does all the fitness work required and looks after himelf. He has worked on technical issues but keeping needs fleet of footedness as well as handling skills. No matter how much he works on his fitness Prior will never be nimble enough to be that good a keeper. Improving his technical ability will only partially compensate for that.

Perhaps to go back to Patel, we have seen that he is significantly talented as a batsman and a fielder but unless he can harness all facets of his game to the maximum he is likely to underachieve. Gaining a good level of fitness can help him do that.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 17:23   #339
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Yes, but if it were actually true that in order to be good enough at cricket to play for England one has to reach a certain standard of fitness, then there would be no reason for the selectors to comment upon anyone's fitness. They would be able to select people for being good enough, and drop people for not being good enough, without thinking about fitness at all. Coincidentally it would then also be the case that no one who doesn't reach a certain level of fitness will get picked, and that for some of those who are dropped, their being dropped (for not being good enough) could be correlated with their drop in fitness. But these would only be incidental facts.

The problem is that if and as soon as the selectors decide that fitness is a crucial issue and start selecting or deselecting on the basis of it, it can no longer be convincingly claimed that there is an exact correlation between fitness and performance; because in fact the selectors have stopped being barometers of performance, and have started playing another game.
I understand where you're coming from, but for me the issue that this is limited overs cricket, and the demands for high-tempo cricket nowadays are much higher. In theory, a batsman like Samit would ideally be able to bat a whole 50 over innings sustaining the same level of fitness, running between the wickets at least 3 times an over, to be able to perform adequately in one day cricket at the highest level. The bleep test seems a decent way of measuring his capability of doing it to me, and he seems to be failing that which is a shame. There is evidence in the fact that he only has one domestic limited overs century, plus video evidence of matches like Shakattak described (I've seen Patel struggle batting through a twenty20 innings) that go a way to prove that his fitness is a barrier to him being good enough to perform at the highest level. Test cricket is played at a slower pace, and is possibly more about mental strength than physical strength, although it can't be denied that fitness is important when it comes to longevity at the crease on hot climates. There are different qualities needed for the different forms of the game, and I think the ECB are right in expecting more hard work from Patel in getting into shape for one day cricket.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 20:15   #340
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No, I'm not, as I've explained, as clearly as I can. I've argued until I'm blue in the face that Patel, just like everybody else, should be judged according to whether or not he is one of the best available cricketers. Unfortunately, although I've now said the same thing many times in slightly different ways, it doesn't seem to be helping.

As I pointed out, this last comment is absolutely relevant to the discussion; but in being so it makes all reference to Samit's fitness and girth irrelevant as far as his selection is concerned. Because if you pick the team, as you should, according to who is likely to perform best, as judged by recent cricketing performance, then you don't need to speculate about the specific reasons why a particular player isn't performing / won't perform very well. For some it may be domestic problems; for some it may be mental toughness; for some it may be that they hate the captain; for some it may be technical issues; for some it may be injury niggles; for some it may be concentration problems; for some it may be fatness; for some it may be that they are allergic to what the dinner ladies serve up. If people want to be picked, it's their business to sort it out, whatever it is, and get their performances up to standard by hook or by crook. But the selectors don't need to offer any diagnosis in individual cases; they just have to pick the 11 best performers as they see it.

The pedalo analogy is relevant if you wish to view Patel's dismissal as a disciplinary issue unrelated to likely on-field performance. Which I am beginning to think might be a fruitful way of looking at it.
Exactly. And Samit hasnt sorted out his "whatever it is" despite two public warnings that we know of.
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