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Comparison of Training and Game Demands of National Level Cricketers

Petersen, Carl J1,2,3; Pyne, David B2; Dawson, Brian T3; Kellett, Aaron D1; Portus, Marc R1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 1306-1311
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181d82cfd
Original Research

Petersen, CJ, Pyne, DB, Dawson, BT, Kellett, AD, and Portus, MR. Comparison of training and game demands of national level cricketers. J Strength Cond Res 25(5): 1306-1311, 2011-Although the physiological demands of cricket match play are emerging, the demands of contemporary training practices have not been reported. The aim of this study was to quantify the physiological demands of selected cricket training activities and compare these to known match demands. Twenty-eight different training activities were monitored in national academy level cricketers (n = 42) using global positioning system units during a 14-week residential training program. The training activities were classified into 3 categories: conditioning sessions (n = 8), skill sessions (n = 9), and game simulations (n = 11). Conditioning sessions were further classified into high- (n = 4) and low- (n = 4) intensity drills. Time-motion measures included movement patterns (walk, jog, run, stride, and sprint distances), total distance covered, number of sprints, number of high-intensity efforts, maximum speed, and recovery time between high-intensity efforts. Inferential statistics were used to quantify magnitudes of difference between various training drills. Movement patterns were then compared to recently published game data (Twenty20, One-Day, and Multiday games) from the same sample group of cricketers. Conditioning drills were twice as long in duration as skill drills and twice as intense as both the skill and game simulation drills. Exercising heart rates were 9-26% and lactate levels up to 3.5 times higher in conditioning compared to other training drills. Conditioning drills matched or exceeded (up to 10 b·min−1; 5%) peak game heart rates. Conversely, skill and simulation drills replicated mean game heart rates for some, but not all positions. In conclusion, training replicates or exceeds cricket match demands in conditioning-type drills but not in simulation or skill-based drills. Modification of skill and simulation training drill practices will ensure closer replication of match and training demands.

1Cricket Australia, Center of Excellence, Albion, Queensland, Australia; 2Department of Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport, Bruce, Canberra, Australia; and 3Sport Science Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia, Crawey, Western Australia, Australia

Address correspondence to Carl Petersen,

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association