Ace cricketer Irfan Pathan was impressed with the fitness level of J&K cricketers as they were first time introduced to the Yo-Yo test at Sher-i-Kashmir cricket stadium Sonwar, here on Friday.
The bar for passing the test was kept at 16.1 level, the same level that Team India was following till recently. The current bar for Team India is 16.5 while as Pakistan it is 17.4, West Indies at 19, New Zealand at 20.1. Level 23 is the highest speed level in a yo-yo test, but no one has come close to getting there yet.
Barring few, almost all the top level cricketers of State passed the test while some set the new bar.
Usman Pundit set the bar with 18.4 and was closely followed by Owais Shah and Zahoor Sofi both crossing 18 level mark. Among the players who passed the test were Manzoor Pandav, Umar Nazir, Mehjoor Sofi.
"This was not the fitness test for selection. This is the first time these players have taken Yo-Yo test, so it was important that we see where we stand," Pathan said, adding that another test will be held later, which will be considered as a fitness test for selection into team.
"I am impressed with the fitness level of these cricketers. Though there are some who need to work hard but it was first time they were taking this test and I am sure they will come good when it will matter," he said.
"One has to understand the fact that it was first time ever that Yo-Yo test was held in J&K cricket. All the top International cricketers, barring Australian's undergo this test before getting into national teams. So this has become basic criteria of selection into any team. If you bowl well, bat well and fail this test then you are out of team. Same will be implied for J&K cricketers when the actual fitness test would be held," he added.
Cricketers were happy to get introduction to the test much before the real fitness test and said that it is good thing for J&K cricket.
"There is lot of time left for selection of J&K team for national events. We had only heard about this test but never seen it. Today we saw it and did it ourselves and it is god thing for us. I am sure the bar would be raised further when the real test would be conducted," said Owais Shah.
Another cricketer, Zahoor Sofi said that such fitness tests for the development of game and should be regular thing.
"In today's cricket world, fitness is as important as the skill. In that perspective it is good thing for J&K cricket as players will now work hard on their fitness. They are now aware that fitness is important for the selection," Sofi said.
Meanwhile the second phase of Irfan Pathan's talent hunt would be held on Saturday at cricket stadium and it will also be last day of screening camp for the senior and Under-23 cricketers.