Before the Match

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Pre-match meals

You should eat at least two hours before the start of play. Make sure the meal consists mainly of carbohydrates, which are digested more easily than proteins. Wholemeal bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and salads are all good pre-match foods to feed your muscles with. Avoid fried foods, sugary cakes and drinks, desserts and biscuits.

 

Fluid intake

When playing a summer game like cricket it is easy to become dehydrated. Drink plenty of water before play begins and at scheduled drinks breaks or lunch and tea intervals as the loss of body fluids can cause fatigue or muscle cramps and significantly decrease your performance. Do this even if you do not feel thirsty as thirst is a poor indicator of the need for fluid replacement. Water, or electrolyte replacement drinks are best. Avoid cordials, soft drinks or fruit juice.

 

Be a willing helper

When you arrive at the ground you will want to catch up with the latest gossip with your mates. This is fine and natural, but a lot of valuable time is wasted with this idle “chit chat”. The first thing you should do is to offer to help with any pre-match tasks that need doing. These might include putting out boundary flags, setting up a portable scoreboard, helping to remove covers, helping to put up tents or sun shelters, setting out chairs and scorer’s tables, and so forth.

 

Be a self-starter

The second thing to do is to get your pre-match warm-up routine underway before your coach has to remind you. This can take the common form of playing a form of touch football or some other game involving movement and handling a ball. If you have practice nets nearby then make use of these for throw-downs. Whatever forms your warm-up takes, impress your coach and manager with your initiative.

 

Check Your Gear

  • Have you got all that you need in your gear bag? Your gear bag should contain most of the following:
  • Bat – is it clean, has any damage been fixed, is the grip firmly fixed to the handle?
  • Practice ball(s) – for use in throw-downs.
  • Pads – clean and with no loose stitching.
  • Groin Protector (Box).
  • Thigh Pad.
  • Batting gloves – dry.
  • Arm guard.
  • Batting helmet with face guard or grill, snugly fitting, light in weight, with chin straps.
  • Cricket shoes – clean with all spikes present and firmly screwed in. If you are to play on an artificial surface you will need a pair of rubber-soled cricket shoes. Batsmen will favour shoes with spikes at the front and rubber-treaded heels. Pace bowlers will need shoes with spikes front and back with extra ankle support.
  • Cricket Trousers – clean and pressed.
  • Cricket shirt – clean and pressed.
  • Socks – white.
  • Cap – your team or club cap, not that of your dream sports team. If you have been selected for a representative team and have been awarded a cap for that team, wear it only when you are playing for that team. Do not be tempted to display your ego when playing for your school or club team by wearing your representative cap.
  • Cricket sweater.
  • Water bottle – your own personal bottle.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Energy snacks.

 

Arrive in plenty of time

Your coach will tell you what time to arrive at the ground. Plan to be there fifteen minutes before the specified time. If you are regularly driven to the ground by a caregiver, make sure that they clearly understand what time you are required to be at the ground. It is most frustrating for the team coach and captain if their pre-match plans are upset because team members have not arrived by the specified time.

 

Welcome the visitors

Have a welcoming word for members of the visiting team and their supporters. Point out where they should store their gear, and where the scoring bench and toilets are located.