A comparison of the physical demands of a one-day cricket game and the training sessions of provincial cricket players using Global Positioning System tracking software
Background: Cricket is a highly technical skills-based game and coaches consequently focus on the improvement of skills during training sessions. However, a certain level of physical fitness is required to execute these skills optimally. Coaches tend to give little focused attention to the development of physical fitness during training, which could lead to players being physically unprepared for the demands of a game.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess and compare the physical demands of a one-day cricket game and a training session of provincial cricket players, using Global Positioning System units.
Methods: Nineteen male provincial cricketers participated in the research. The participants were classified into five sub-disciplines, namely, batting, fast bowling, spin bowling, fielding and wicketkeeping. The study employed a descriptive and comparative design as it essentially collected numerical data from Global Positioning System units to describe and compare the physical demands of a one-day game of cricket and a training session preceding these games. The variables used in the study included total distances travelled in the game which were divided into five movement categories, i.e. walking, jogging, running, striding and sprinting. Also included were average and maximum heart rates, number of sprints and average sprint distances.
Results: There were significant differences across all sub-disciplines and movement categories during training and the one-day game for provincial cricket players. Batsmen showed the greatest discrepancies between training and the game for all high-intensity movements (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The findings of this study highlight the different physical and physiological demands placed on players in the various sub-disciplines during training and the one-day game. The current study found the major disparity between training and the one-day game was amongst the batsmen.
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