TT Red Force coach Mervyn Dillon said he plans to push his players to extreme levels to maximise their performance. With no cricket being played because of the coronavirus, Dillon plans to keep his players fit as the players will be instructed to send videos of themselves working out in a Whatsapp group.
Cricket West Indies sent a press release on Tuesday stating the remaining two rounds of the West Indies Four-Day Championships will be cancelled because of coronavirus. Leaders Barbados Pride were declared the champions as they ended the competition with 134.8 points, a huge lead over second-placed Red Force.
Red Force finished second with 94.6 points after completing three wins, two losses and three draws from eight matches.
The entire sporting world has been affected by the pandemic with a number of major sporting events being cancelled or postponed. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, originally scheduled to start on July 24, will be held next summer for the latest and the 2020 European Football Championships has been postponed by a year to June 2021.
On the decision to end the four-day tournament, Dillon said, “I think going forward for the next few months I don’t think anybody could predict exactly what is going to happen…congrats must be given to Barbados. They played really well, they played some good cricket. Even after our game in Trinidad (recently) they went to Guyana and totally dominated.”
On keeping fit during this slow period, Dillon said, “I sent a message in the (Red Force) group chat this morning challenging my trainer Jerry (Clinton Jeremiah) and Jason (Pilgrim) our physio. We are going to have to get creative on how we are going to get this done because we can’t afford to let all the good work that we have done over the last few months go to waste.”
The Red Force coach, who said the new fitness initiative will start this week, said it will help the players develop more as professionals because the onus is on them to train. “Most of it will have to be up to the players themselves. I think it is a good thing giving them the responsibility during this time of actually doing some work on their own.
We will have some video recording that they will be able to send of some of the workouts that we will be sending out.” Pilgrim, Jeremiah and Oba Gulston are among the fitness trainers that will be supporting Dillon in the exercise initiative.
After placing second in the four-day tournament and making it to the semi-finals of the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 tournament at the end of 2019, Dillon said fitness and fielding are key areas to help Red Force improve.
“I am a big believer in fitness when you look at our fitness levels in terms of where we were and where we are in the last year.”
Dillon added, “I am a big believer once we up that fitness level everything else will improve. Our weakest point has been our fielding, our catching. We dropped way too many catches and all of this had to do with concentration and I think once guys get fitter they will be able to concentrate for longer.”
The former West Indies fast bowler said he will be testing his players. “That is something that we going to push really hard on. Yes the guys are not going to be happy with me, but I am going to be pushing them to the extreme to make sure we get to the levels that we should be so that we can perform to the levels that we should be performing once representing the country.”