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Fletcher hopes new approach leads to World Cup spot

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CHRISTCHURCH: A new strength and conditioning programme and better shot selection has led to West Indies batsman Andre Fletcher hoping a strong tour of New Zealand will help him force his way back into contention for next year’s Twenty20 World Cup.

The 32-year-old Fletcher has not played for West Indies since 2018 but has been brought back for their tour of New Zealand after strong form in the Caribbean Premier League.

Head coach Phil Simmons told reporters last week shortly after they arrived in Christchurch the tour was an opportunity for players to put their hands up for the World Cup in India next October, a message that was not lost on Fletcher.

“I need to make sure that I grasp that,” he said on Thursday about their three-match series, which starts on Nov 27. “I have become a more positive player. My shot selection has improved a lot. I’ve worked very hard on my physical aspect and been putting in a lot of strength work behind the scenes.

“It has paid off … and hopefully that will continue in the international scene too. The team goal is to win the series. My individual goal is to try and score enough runs to cement myself in the T20 squad.”

While Fletcher has made only sporadic appearances for West Indies since he made his debut in 2008, he was a member of the World Cup winning squad in 2016 before a hamstring injury forced him out before the semi-finals.

Fletcher, however, only had good memories of that tournament and he said the current side was showing signs of the same culture that propelled them to the title.

“We were supporting each other, enjoying each other’s success,” Fletcher said. “I’ve seen that in this team. We have to make sure that everyone is comfortable, as that is how you get the best out of everyone.”

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2020

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