A Guide to Training for Cricket - Part 1
Cricket is a sport played in over 100 countries across the world in 3 different main formats. The longest of these formats is 5 days long which makes the shortest, Twenty 20, seem like a stroll in the park at around 3 hours long. That is still two times the length of a football game. However, popular opinion is that cricket is just a bunch of people standing in a field all day.
Why do most of those cricket players have a dodgy back, shoulder or knee? Or all three!
Surely standing in a field all day isn’t that dangerous! The issue is what these players put their body through intermittently between these periods of low intensity activity. Fast bowlers are 3 times more at risk of an injury than other positions with the lower back being the most common site for injury to occur.
This isn’t surprising when analysing the bowling action. It is one of the most unnatural positions you could possibly put a human body in. As if that isn’t enough, the aim is to deliver the ball as quickly as possible meaning that more than 5 times the bodyweight is going through the body at front foot contact.
As many casual cricketers still view it as standing in a field all day, it is no surprise they aren’t correctly preparing their body to deal with the demands of the game. This is why so many players get injured, especially in the amateur game.
As for the other positions, they are still covering around 10km in a game. Roughly 75% of this is walking but that is still 2.5km running, some of which is maximal sprinting. The only other time most amateur cricketers sprint is if they are late for the bus. Yet it is surprising when suddenly their knee hurts after “a day of standing in a field”. Hopefully, you are seeing the trend.
Yes, cricketers do spend a lot of time spending in a field. But, in between and often without much notice they are required to sprint, jump, land, change direction, throw, catch, dive, roll, bowl or whack a ball as hard as they can. Simply rocking up to a net session once a week isn’t going to prepare you for that.
Most injuries in any sport are due to a spike in volume of an activity. Cricket is no different. The only difference with cricket is people don’t quite realise how much high intensity activity is involved because it’s hidden within a large amount of low intensity activity.
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