Thursday, April 18, 2024

Our cricketers are too injury-prone

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AS AN AVID CRICKET FAN, the fitness level or lack thereof of our players is one of the many things which concerns me as I’m sure it does others.

It seems as if every time one opens the newspaper or visits online, there is a report about another player injury in the sports section.

Currently Fidel Edwards and Jerome Taylor are in the midst of downtime and oft-injured Ramnaresh Sarwan is only now returning to action after a layoff of a few months with a hamstring injury.

It is debatable if any current member of the Test team could endure the old five-Test series without missing a match due to injury.

In the days when we were supreme, I don’t recall players of the calibre of Garry Sobers, Frank Worrell, Wes Hall, Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards, Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner to mention a few, missing a Test due to injury.

Hall once bowled a whole day in a Test match at Lord’s in 1963, truly a superhuman feat. Incidentally when I asked him to confirm it at Combermere School’s last annual reunion, he did with a retort, “yuh cant see how I does walk”.

Playing conditions in Australia, India, Pakistan and at home were pretty much the same then.

I recall hearing my dad say that during the famous WI-Australia Test series in 1960-61, the thermometer regularly rose above the century mark.

In those days, players weren’t allowed to run onto the field with a supply of liquids for their teammates as is the custom nowadays.

You simply played until there was an official break. I don’t recall any player passing on to eternity as a result.

Now many reasons have been advanced for the constant breaking down of many of our top players today.

They run the gamut from poor eating habits and diet, reluctance to follow an adequate fitness regimen due to plain laziness, a lack of professional commitment to the game married to the fact that more cricket is played in contemporary times, as opposed to times past.

There’s an element of truth contained in these postulates, but they don’t tell the whole story.

The experts in this field may have to dig deeper in an attempt to find out why our players of todayare so injury-prone.

If and when they do, I hope whatever recommendations are proposed will be adopted and wholeheartedly implemented by the WICB and supported by WIPA.

RANDY BRIDGEMAN

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