How Cricket Teams Get the Best Performance from PlayersBen Mendelowitz |
Preparation is key to success in all sports, but especially cricket where timing and rhythm out in the middle can determine whether a team wins or loses a significant series. Therefore, teams across the world are looking at how they can improve their approaches before major competitions in order to get the best out of their talent to ensure they are fit and firing from ball one.
South Africa have experienced life in the bubble ahead of the 2021 World T20 and have been able to spend more time with loved ones ahead of the 2021 World T20. Players such as Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen and Keshav Maharaj enjoyed the benefit of having relatives and partners accompany them ahead of the tournament and are now feeling confident about the outcome. For the players and their loved ones, their daily activities revolved around fitness regimes in the gym and watching a lot of TV and movies.
Building a rapport within the ranks is key ahead of major competitions, allowing the players to bond with one another while working on their skills. However, it is also important to remember that the players are in a working environment, with their performance closely monitored during training as well as during matches, and although sport may not be seen to be a regular 9-5 occupation, there are fans, bookmakers, sponsors and teammates relying on them to succeed. So, cricketers need to spend time away from their job and with their loved ones and friends to keep the balance in check.
This is why Van der Dussen highlighted the importance of spending time with his partner even when travelling abroad. The ability to tour with relatives, partners and friends allows cricketers to enjoy both facets of life, without having to miss out on time with their loved ones. A happy mind is vital for a sportsman given the rigours they will endure in the middle.
Is There Too Much Cricket?
The Proteas have ensured that their players have been rotated in and out of the line-up to avoid prolonged spells in the side. Teams such as England have come under fire for their policy of resting players for tours, especially in their series against India where Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes were sent home after a short period of time. The Three Lions’ results suffered as a consequence, although the outcome of their series against India may have been the same even with the three players in the side.
Cricketers are now playing more than ever due to the increase of domestic T20 tournaments that are being squeezed into the international calendar. It is affecting all facets of the game, including preparation for the series.
England themselves have been hampered ahead of the 2021/22 Ashes by the fact that many of their stars are playing in the ICC World T20, whereas part of the squad is preparing for the tour down under.
Australia are also dealing with the same issues ahead of their vital defence. Given that there are great differences between all three disciplines of the game, the ICC along with the governing bodies of all nations must have to consider the structure of the international calendar.
It will be a difficult proposition and the popularity of T20 cricket has given the sport a healthy problem, albeit one that has endangered Test cricket. The ICC need to ensure that they maintain the integrity of the sport by ensuring that the best players in the world are fit and firing for the showcase events in the world. An overwhelming schedule will only detriment the players and potentially harm the product on the field.