The fitness and strength of county cricketers should not be under-estimated, says one of Nottinghamshire’s coaches on the eve of the players’ return to pre-season training.
Liam Price, who is the strength and conditioning coach at Trent Bridge, reckons that while most professionals lack the raging muscular build of boxers or players in collision sports such as rugby, cricket is no less physically challenging.
“It’s a different kind of fitness, but no less demanding,” said Price as he prepared for the start of training at Notts next Monday.
“The most testing part is how intense the scheduling of fixtures is for the players and making sure they’re robust enough. Not just to play, but also to perform well.
“Cricket is such an interesting sport to be involved in. Rugby and football are more blatantly physical. But, even in a skills-based sport like cricket, you wouldn’t be fulfilling your potential without that physical prowess.
“There are also many differing physical requirements. The demands placed on Tom Moores, for example, as a wicketkeeper are very high.
“The constant moving, squatting, jumping and sprinting for 90 overs a day. Imagine doing a workout of 540 squats and throwing a load of sprints, jumps, hops and dives in too.
“Then there’s the constant anticipation of a rock-solid ball coming your way at 90mph. And, by the way, you’re doing the same again tomorrow and the next day. That’s a monumental workload.
“I work on the premise that fitness alone can’t win you a trophy, but not being fit enough can lose you one.”