Cricket games generally last several hours and can span over 3-5 days. Therefore, it is essential that every player is physically fit and healthy. Regardless of what role they are playing within the game, a fitter player is an individual who will have the physical and mental resilience to maintain higher levels of concentration and alertness. Will be ready to execute various movement and performance qualities at any time with a high degree of coordination, technical skills and tactical awareness. They will also recover better and will be far less at risk of injuries and ailments.
This all being said, this program is designed to turn cricket players into high-performing athletes with high levels of strength, speed and endurance – this program is aimed to make fast/pace bowlers, batters and all fielders the best they can be!
Strength: Greater strength will improve speed and power potential and will ensure players can run fast, bowl powerfully, hit the ball hard with the bat, and throw the ball over long distances.
Cricket players need lower body, upper body and rotational strength.
Greater strength in the soft tissues will also build resilience and minimize the risk of injuries.
Speed: Batters need to be able to sprint fast to make runs. Bowlers need to sprint fast to generate power for their bowls and fielders need to be able to sprint fast to chase the ball down and return it to the wicket-keeper.
Agility: Batters need to be able to change direction quickly as they sprint from one wicket to the other. Bowlers need to be able to accelerate fast and decelerate after bowling the ball. Fielders need incredible multidirectional speed to chase the ball down.
Note: Multidirectional speed (MDS) is the ability to accelerate, decelerate, change direction, and maintain speed in multiple directions and movements.
Anaerobic Fitness: Batters are required to sprint time and time again. Bowlers have to sprint each time they bowl and fielders have to repeatedly work at high speeds to collect the ball, all of which require anaerobic fitness.
Aerobic Fitness: Players need the aerobic capacity to last the duration of the game and recover from high-intensity bouts of work. They also require an aerobic base to maintain both physical and psychological performance over many hours and days of game play.
Flexibility & Mobility: Bowlers need great thoracic (upper spine) and shoulder mobility and brilliant hip mobility to maximize bowling technique and, in turn, power. Batters need good mobility through their thoracic spine and hips to maximize batting technique and, in turn, power. Fielders need good overall mobility to ensure they can easily move their bodies into the positions needed to catch or stop the ball and prevent them from being injured when over-reaching or stretching a muscle/muscle group.
Common injuries within cricket include rotator cuff injuries (the muscles that support the shoulder joint), which are often attributed to bowling, throwing and batting the ball.
Hamstring strains (you strain muscles and tendons and sprain ligaments) are common within any sport that involves sprints, and with batters performing lots of sudden sprints, bowlers having to produce high speeds and fielders using multidirectional speed in reaction to the ball, hamstrings injuries are a clear risk in cricket.
Ankle sprains are also very common in any sport that involves lots of acceleration, running at high speed, deceleration and change of direction, and cricket involves all of these.
Abdominal side strains (strain to the oblique muscles) are fairly common in bowlers and will usually occur on the opposite side to the bowling arm.
Elbow injuries such as “throwers elbow” (medial epicondylitis) is an overuse injuries usually caused by too much throwing/bowling.
Low back pain (pain between the bottom rib and the crease of the buttocks) can be experienced by batters or fielders that overreach for a position. Fast bowlers can also be at risk as the high forces that they put through their bodies can cause trauma to the lower back.
Note: Due to the extremely high forces that fast bowlers put through their bodies, they can be at an increased risk of all of the above injuries. Therefore, it is absolutely key that they build up strength in the associated structures.
Contusions (bruising) are quite common in cricket, usually occurring when the ball strikes the player.
You can grab a copy of my Paperback Program: Strength and Conditioning for Cricket by clicking HERE