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Bin liners and ice baths

Posted in Disability Cricket

Earlier this month, before the recent announcement of the first-ever England Physical Disability tour party to take on Pakistan in Dubai in February, the squad met up at Edgbaston.

A successful summer has seen the squad number rise from 15 to 21. This was the first time we had all players gathered together. A proud moment for all involved in disability cricket.

For many of the players this will be the first time playing overseas. For all, it will be the first time competing in an international series. As such the first morning at Edgbaston was spent drawing out a number of issues we’ll face out in Dubai and the many challenges we need to overcome in the preparation phase.

Thereafter, we got to work in the cricket centre but this time with a difference. In anticipation of hot and humid conditions we set up a number of 'heat training' exercises where we asked each player to wear bin liners as sweat vests.

Warming up, fielding drills, batting and bowling with vests on made for tough and demanding conditions. For all, a real shock to the system. The quote of the week had to be: "I’m sweating in places I’ve never sweated before."

Scenarios were set up over the weekend for our batsmen to work on playing against spin. As well as this we ran a hugely competitive indoor competition.

Fitness and conditioning were identified as a priority for development at our inaugural get together in December. I’m delighted to report all the lads have been putting in their yards with much improved physical assessment scores. However, with physio Kate Peckham’s support at the training weekend none of the players were left in any doubt the need to keep their work going at this crucial stage of preparing for an amazing opportunity come February. Now is the time and all the lads are fully briefed.

The sight of huge bags of ice going around the hotel rooms on Saturday night to introduce 'cold therapy' as a recovery aid raised the bar aswell as many eyebrows.

With the clocks going back this weekend and November nights just around the corner we enter a critical phase in preparing for the tour. We have another training camp lined up for 12th and 13th November. More bin liners, sweat and ice baths to look forward to.