Portly Patel pays the price for failure to shed excess weight

The suspicion that Samit Patel was the cricketer who ate all the pies appeared to be confirmed yesterday. In a blow for aspiring village green cricketers everywhere, he was unceremoniously dropped from England's one-day squad for the tour of the West Indies for what was officially described as his "failure, despite repeated warnings, to reach an acceptable standard of fitness for international cricket".

Patel, the Nottinghamshire batsman and left-arm spinner, broke into the side last summer and his rotund frame immediately set him apart from his colleagues. He looked as though he was basing his fitness on repeated viewings of the film Run Fat Boy Run, which he must have been watching with a vat of Coke and a mountain of popcorn.

If it made a refreshing change in an occupation where success in the ubiquitous beep test, which monitors overall fitness, is as important as hundreds and five-wicket hauls, it could not last. As he grazed in the outfield, there are those who swear they could see Patel searching for his feet between balls.

In announcing the hardline action yesterday, Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket, said: "It was made clear by several people including Geoff Miller, the national selector. Samit was given a programme, he has had two fitness tests and the results of those have not been satisfactory."

Patel will stay with the England Lions team in New Zealand, where he had his second fitness test two days ago. The firmness of the England management's approach was evident from the fact that Graeme Swann, who would have been competing directly with Patel for a place in the one-day team, is leaving the squad after the fifth Test to have surgery on his troublesome right elbow.

Nor could Patel be saved by performance. He made 101 for the Lions in their Test against New Zealand A last week. Morris denied England were intent on breeding a team of automatons in thrall to gymnasium work-outs. The most celebrated of England's tubby cricketers was Colin Milburn, who was 18 stones and excited fans wherever he batted in the Sixties. More recently, Australia have fielded David Boon and Darren Lehmann, neither of whom spent much time studying diet sheets.

"The game has moved on enormously," said Morris. "Everyone recognises that Samit has got enormous talent, but we feel that to fulfil that talent and sustain success over a period of time, you need to be as fit as possible. We need that message to get through to all our players."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty

Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow after showing his Spring 2015 collection in September, his last show before his death
fashionThe passing of the legendary designer has left a vacancy: couturier to America’s royalty, says fashion editor Alexander Fury
Life and Style

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'

Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why