Cricket Uncut

A group blog run by professional cricket writers from across the world

Monday, April 11, 2005

Swelter swelter

It all looks nice and easy on TV, a few men running around with balls and bats, but it isn't. I was standing at the boundary of the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad today, in the afternoon, watching both teams practice, and the heat was so sapping that I went from fresh-after-bath to wilting-in-heat within five minutes. Even sitting in that kind of heat tires you out, as I discovered in the open-air press box at Bangalore, and the levels of physical fitness that the players have is quite astounding.

The physical activity of the players isn't restricted to the game. If play starts at 9.30, the players are on the field at 8, doing fielding drills, jogging around, warming up. And an hour after the game you'll see them on the field, doing cool-down exercises. They work between Tests also, even on days when they travel. And when they come to the press conference at the end of a day, the fatigue is visible; as is the sportsman who can handle it. No paunches, by the way, as in the glory days of Ashok Malhotra et al.

And what do the players have to say about the heat? Here's Inzamam-ul-Haq, from today's press conference: "You know how hot it is in the gallery. It's hotter on the field. I'm a human being, I get affected."
amit varma, 11:23 PM| email this to a friend | permalink | homepage