Cricket can be a deceivingly physically demanding sport as players can spend a whole day out in the field/batting/bowling and this is usually in warm, hot or humid conditions. Although there are no long, continuous periods of running or moving during the game, it can last a whole day and so endurance plays a vital factor in performance. Along with this there are periods of short, sharp, high intensity movements, such as bowling and bowling run up, sprinting while batting, screamers and sprinting to chase a ball. Therefore players need to focus on both aerobic and anaerobic training, which will increase base fitness and thus have a greater impact on them reaching their full potential.

Aerobic exercises:

  • Players should include some continuous running in their training sessions. This could include running laps for a warm up, as well as in between certain activities and exercises (skills, batting, bowling and catching drills).

Anaerobic exercises:

  • Fielding/sprinting drill: One player has a bat and ball, while the other players spread out around the field. The person with the bat hits the bal all around the field and whoever is the closest has to sprint and chase it and then throw it back to the batter. This drill can also be used as a ‘screamer’ drill. Batter hits the ball up high and off the mark so that the fielder has to sprint to the ball and catch it. If the player drops the ball then they have to complete one lap of the oval (incorporating cardio).
  • Sprints with a cricket bat: Set up a distance the same as the crease. Complete 10 x sprint with bat in hand.
  • Accelerating sprints: Set up cones covering a distance of 100m. Starting at one end, gradually accelerate to reach full speed at the halfway point and continue to sprint to the end. Slow down gradually to a jog, turn and walk/jog back to the start. Repeat.
  • Alternating starts: Set up cones covering a 20m distance. The aim of this exercise is to get out as fast as possible and build up as much speed as you can within 20m. To add variety, mix up the start as much as possible. Eg. begin jogging on the spot, or lying down on your back/stomach, or perform push-ups or squats before taking off.

Personal trainer, Tavia Ambler

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