To address the dropping fitness level among the players in the country, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Saturday has decided to to raise the beep-test requirements in the domestic cricket circuit.

The national selectors have told the teams in the first-class cricket in Bangladesh to pick only those cricketers who can score at least 11 in the test. In the last season, the mark was nine, two less than from the latest.

The Bangladesh cricket team coach Russell Domingo was not too pleased with the fitness levels of the cricketers and told the same to the BCB.

“We have noticed that the fitness of the national players is very poor. The coach Russell Domingo asked, what sort of fitness is this? I have never seen such fitness of players in South Africa. We cannot suddenly increase the fitness-level requirements. We cannot reach the mark of 13 points in the beep test or even go above that,” BCB President Nazmul Hassan was quoted as saying by a report in espncricinfo.

“So, there has been a decision regarding this, that if we keep the fitness acceptance levels so low in the domestic or lower-tier competitions from where the players get into the national side, then naturally the players in the national side will only score nine or ten in the beep test. Now let’s see. We have taken the decision after considering everything. I think we have to improve the fitness,” Hassan added.

However, this decision has not gone down too well with some of the cricketers, including Tushar Imran, leading run-scorer in first-class cricket.

“I am always prepared to take up a challenge, but it is not fair to say that we can’t play if we can’t reach 11. Cricket is our bread and butter. It is going to be difficult for a lot of cricketers,” Tushar told Prothom Alo, ”

“A lot of ‘super-fit’ players from the senior side are not scoring a lot of runs or taking wickets. What will the selectors do with them? [But] we are prepared to take the challenge, because it is our livelihood,” he added.