The Bangladesh national cricket team might have had a very dull 2016 so far with no ODIs or Tests, but the good news is that the team has reached a new landmark as far as their fitness numbers are concerned.
According to the Bangladesh Cricket Board's sports physician Debashish Chowdhury, the numbers from the recently organised fitness camp have reached an all-time high, with the current average 'beep test' score of the team hovering around 11.
“I don't think we have ever had such a high average score. This is great,” Debashish told The Daily Star yesterday.
Speaking to reporters Nasir Hossain echoed Debashish's sentiments.
“At the start, my test results were 10 by 6. After the camp I reached 11 by 3. We have all improved a lot,” said Nasir.
One of the main tests used to measure the players' fitness levels is the 'beep test.' The setting for this test is quite minimal. Two cones are kept 20 meters apart and the test starts when the players hear three consecutive beeps from the speaker.
The player starts at one cone and must reach another cone before the next beep, doing so until he can no longer keep up with the beeps. If a player misses three beeps in a row, he has to quit the test. The frequency of the beeps increases as time progresses.
For example in level one, the beeps may come after a long gap. However, as each minute passes, players enter new levels and are required to increase their speed in order to keep up with the beeps.
The scoring is based on the number of levels a player passes and the number of times a player completes a full round. So in Nasir's case, he reached level 11 and managed to run 20 miles, while keeping up with the beeps thrice before falling behind.
The increase in the average beep test score and the way the players have emphasised the importance of fitness during the camp in the last one month, in a way, goes on to show a change in the mentality of the cricketers. The rule at the moment seems to be simple: if a player is not fit enough, there is no room for him.
Therefore, it is not a surprise that cricketers who are outside the national team and those who are yet to cement their position, like Shahriar Nafees and Nasir for instance, are putting in extra hours in the gym lately.