After trying Muay Thai last week, the fourth and final episode of Culture of Fitness covers a sport that has been around since the end of the 17th century: cricket.
To learn more about cricket and why the sport can be an effective fitness regimen, I spent the morning at the Ontario Cricket Academy and was put through the paces by program director Derek Perera.
Cricket is a game played between two teams of 11, and there is only one “inning” in a cricket match, Perera says. One team bats first and tries to score as many runs as possible, and then the second team tries to score more runs than the first team. The team with the most runs wins.
According to Perera, there are many comparisons between cricket and baseball, but the former involves more running.
“Cricket is a start-and-stop sport, so there is a lot of anaerobic activity involved,” Perera says. “There’s a lot of sprinting involved, there is a lot more running in between the wickets than there is in baseball.”
Cricket is also a sport for everyone — it’s played around the world, and there’s quite a recreational following of cricket in Canada.
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The game has evolved considerably since its founding in the 1600s. The modern-day game of cricket is one of the fastest sports in the world, and there’s a need for players to be explosive on the pitch in batting, bowling and fielding.
At the Ontario Cricket Academy, Perera works with his athletes on plyometrics — a lot of explosive and dynamic movements — to help improve their play.
Stamina is also a big component in being an effective cricketer. Some players can be batting for almost the entirety of a match. Cricket is a great way to get and stay fit and have fun in a competitive atmosphere.
Another key feature of the Culture of Fitness series is to compare each exercise regimen to a traditional gym routine. To do that, we’ve enlisted the services of Jenna Gillen, assistant professor of exercise physiology, to give her determination of the effectiveness of each method of training.
Here she is talking about cricket: