You can~~t have it both ways, says Ian Frazer

Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Indian cricket team's bio-mechanist Ian Frazer yesterday defended the strict fitness regime introduced by coach Greg Chappell, saying the players' fitness levels have only gone up since the new season began.

The performance of the new support staff including Chappell and Frazer who took over recently has come under scrutiny following news reports that the sudden increase in work load has caused "fear and insecurity" in some of the players.

Frazer said the intense fitness programme was created keeping in mind the busy schedule ahead and that critics cannot have it both ways, cribbing about players' poor fitness on one side and complaining about the work load on the other.

"If they (the players) have an increase in work load, I have not heard them say. It might be more than it was in the past, but their fitness levels have gone up too," the 39-year old Australian told PTI in an exclusive interview.

"Greg and I set out to make them physically and mentally ready, to have a good foundation for the coming time. I think the players are extremely excited about the feedback," he said.

"You can't have it both ways. When we took over, it was said they are low on fitness levels. Now when the work load is more, they say they haven't improved. I think the fitness levels have gone up from what it was before," he said.

Asked how difficult it would be for the team management as well as the players to come together and play as a unit, Frazer said a way could be found.

"As with anything in life, you have to appeal to their ambitions, goals and aims that have driven them. At times they get away from this, focussing on things that don't help their ambitions.

"It is our job to help them come back. One time chaos, and suddenly it all turns into a smooth running thing."

Frazer played for Victoria in Australian first-class cricket. After his playing days, he moved to business, dabbled in computing technology before joining Greg Chappell to launch "The Chappell Way" cricket training programme.

The Australian said Indian cricket authorities would have to come to terms fast with making "hard decisions" when it came to a player's retirement.

"It is a matter of using the resources. The establishment will have to make hard decisions because the game has gone up to another level," Frazer said.

"There is more money in it, so the players won't be moving on to other activity. It is new to cricket. Handling post-retirements will be an issue, players need to be shown there are certain areas of life (outside cricket).

"Greg (Chappell) moved on because in his days there wasn't enough money in cricket. (Players) staying on is not going to be in the best interest of the game.

"Players are self-protective, that is natural. But all the players (who were given the nudge) Taylor, Waugh, Healy, even Border, have said that is the best thing to have happened to them.

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