Fitness failure means Duckett will miss Northamptonshire’s tour

Ben Duckett has not reached the required fitness levels to join Northamptonshire on their pre-season tour
Ben Duckett has not reached the required fitness levels to join Northamptonshire on their pre-season tour
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Ben Duckett will not be going on Northamptonshire’s pre-season tour of Barbados having failed to reach his required fitness levels.

The wicketkeeper-batsman will remain at the County Ground to work while his colleagues are in the Caribbean.

It is not the first time Duckett has fallen foul of such a problem having also been left out of the England Under-19 squad in 2013 for the same reason.

And while the County’s director of cricket David Ripley admits he is disappointed at the news, he feels the key thing is to see how Duckett responds.

“We’ve invested a lot of time on our fitness levels since the end of last season,” Ripley explained.

“We’ve only got a small squad and injury prevention will be a key thing for us.

“All the players had a fitness target and we need to make sure they hit them.

“Ben was a little off way his around Christmas time and, unfortunately, he has not made it to the required point by this stage.

“It’s disappointing because everyone has worked very, very hard.

“A lot of the players have been doing personal bests and put a lot of effort in.

“This hasn’t necessarily stemmed from myself.

“The new captain and vice-captain have been very keen to improve the fitness side of things and I’ve been keen to work on our professionalism.

“This kind of ties in to both of those.

“”It means Ben won’t be coming with us and he is very disappointed about that.

“But we all make mistakes and the important thing is how he bounces back.

“He understands our decision and has taken it on the chin.

“There is no black mark against him - he’s missing out on a tour and that should be enough.

“What we want to see is a positive reaction.

“If he works hard while we are away and makes up the right levels, he will be back with us for the rest of the pre-season games.”

The club will also be without spinner Graeme White who is recovering from a stress fracture in his foot.

Northamptonshire squad: Alex Wakely, David Willey, Mohammad Azharullah, Chad Barrett, Maurice Chambers, Josh Cobb, Steven Crook, Rob Keogh, David Murphy, Rob Newton, Stephen Peters, Adam Rossington, Olly Stone, Saif Zaib.