We’ll be holding a fitness session on the track at the Works, MUN University at 5 – 6 pm on January 4th, all welcome; please be on time. Students have free access to the track, for non-students there’s a charge of $3.05. No outdoor footwear permitted, and wristbands must be worn. We continue to encounter challenges securing gym space for high performance sessions, but for the next two months the focus of training will be on fitness anyway, and we plan to hold weekly sessions.
Why fitness? Fitness was noted as an issue at the 2016 Eastern T20 championships, and is a focus of the national high performance training programme. Cricket involves a wide range of skills and fitness requirements, including strength, flexibility, sprinting ability and aerobic capacity. To play at a high level requires exceptional fitness. As an example, England women’s batsman Tammy Beaumont wore a GPS monitor in the course of her innings of 168 (148 balls, 20 boundaries, out of 366) for England against Pakistan in a 50 over international. She covered 19km during her innings, which included 1,400m of high-intensity running (over 18km/h). Translating this to 20 over cricket, a bat who bats through the innings is likely to run close to 10 km with a higher proportion of high intensity running.
A player who is not fit will miss opportunities with the bat- unable to turn singles into twos, take quick singles – but also will make poor decisions; trying to bat with high heart rate and out of breath often results in poor shot selection, and throwing away of wickets. In the field, a tired player will make mistakes, not chase the ball, and not be alert. An unfit bowler will tire quickly and lose accuracy.
To improve fitness, serious players should be training a minimum of three times/ week for 30 minutes to an hour (preferably 5 times), with an emphasis on high intensity running and recovery as well as building up endurance.