Cricket training has been more like boot camp
Friday, February 06, 2009 11:29 AM
The past week in Trinidad has been like 'boot camp'.
* Photo supplied. Working out: Players stop on their hike up a mountain to do sit ups.
Most of our games have been called off because of the weather so we've been in the gym or working on fitness non-stop.
We always link up with a guy called Jeremiah, who does fitness training for the army, when we're down in Trinidad. When the boys hear his name we know we're in for a tough time. He's brutal.
The week started on Saturday with a seven-mile hike to the top of a mountain near Port of Spain.
It was a team building exercise with the army fitness instructors and they had us doing push-ups and sit-ups on the way up.
The idea was that everybody helped each other get to the top. It was a four-and-a-half hour trek and I think everybody was busted by the time we got back to the cricket academy in Couva.
Sunday we were in the nets early. Everybody got a hit and then we split into groups and switched between the nets and the weight room.
In the afternoon Herbie (assistant coach Herbie Bascome) put us through a fielding session.
We thought we were going to get a reprieve on Monday and Tuesday and play some cricket but our games against Trinidad Under-23s were cancelled because of the weather.
It was frustrating for me because I'd been looking forward to getting out in the middle for the first time since November but that is the way it goes.
The rain doesn't look like it's going to stop any time soon and it's affected every game this week. I've been itching to play a full regular match and we need match practice so it's very disappointing.
It also means we have been doing much more fitness work. We've been alternating between the gym, circuit training sessions with Jeremiah, the nets and working on our fielding with Herbie.
We've been pushed really hard and the guys are at least 50-60 per cent fitter than when we left Bermuda.
Outside of the organized training sessions it can get pretty boring out here. The cricket academy is in the middle of nowhere so we've just had to pass the time watching movies in each other's rooms, on the Internet or with extra sessions in the nets.
The rooms are in the same building as the nets and you can just grab your roommate and go and have a hit any time you feel like it.
I'm rooming with Fiqre Crockwell. Each of the senior players has three other players to mentor. I'm with Fiqre, my little mate Tamauri Tucker and my St David's team-mate Justin Pitcher.
We all get along great. They work hard, they're willing to listen and they are always up for an extra hit.
There is only so much benefit you can get from batting in the nets and what we really need is time in the middle.
The fitness work has been good for us but we really want to play some cricket. Right now, I can't wait to get to St. Lucia and get some games in.