Cricketers Do Not Train Hard Enough

Sun, Jan 6, '19

by ORVILLE HIGGINS

Commentary

One of Jamaica's top track and field coaches also happens to be a real cricket fan. I remember having a conversation with him after another disappointing day of watching the West Indies at Sabina Park. He made a statement that has stayed with me for years.

He said that cricket was the only sport he knew of where actual competition was harder than training. He said that until we fixed that, West Indies cricket was going to be lagging behind. He didn't watch cricket, or cricket training, outside of the Caribbean, so his utterance must be taken in a West Indian context.

The more I watch and cover cricket in the region, the more I agree with him. In track and field, an athlete preparing for the Olympics in the summer starts his background training in November of the previous year. Footballers regularly play two or more hours on the training field in preparation for a 90-minute game. The top schoolboy teams will start intense training at least two months before competition. In cricket, the average batsman needs to bat two sessions to score a first-class hundred. That is approximately four hours batting.

I have watched cricket training at all levels in the region, and I cannot recall a training session where batsmen are asked to bat four hours. Sometimes a half-hour in the nets is all they do. And then we wonder why regional batsmen struggle to bat for long periods.

 

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