T20 and Fitness

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T20 cricket has brought changes in most aspects of the game. It has revolutionized the way it is played, managed and appreciated. One major change is the level of fitness required from the players.

Long gone are the days of WG Grace when fitness was a matter of choice. 70s and 80s saw increased amount of cricket, and the inclusion of professional attitudes.

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W.G Grace with all his awesomeness

 

During the 90s and 2000s, fielding and fitness standards reached new heights. Still cricket had its Inzis and Ranatungas. But Jonty Rhodes set new standards for top teams and this became an iconic incident.

 

But modern game has moved on towards staggering level of physical fitness. Talent no longer guarantees a place in top teams. You have to be in top notch shape to excel. There are many reasons for this increased emphasis. First of all, the amount of cricket is too much. Modern players not only feature in an exhaustive international cricket schedule, but also play so many T20 leagues. To be able to manage all the workload, you better be prepared. Also the competition has increased. There are so many talented players fighting for each spot, so you need every aspect of your game to stand out.

 

New T20 franchises have also pushed the standards. With the length of game shortened and most games being competitive last overs, importance of every run has increased. Batsmen need to run as many as they can, and fielders save as many as possible because the margin between victory and defeat is usually miniscule. In a T20 game you are always under pressure to perform because one over and even one fielding effort can change the course of the game. Being physically fit and ready to go enables you to be psychologically calm in a pressure situation during the match.

 

Also with astronomical sums of money top players earn, makes one feel that these guys owe it to the fans, team-owners and the game itself to work hard and do whatever they can to improve as professionals. Hence catches like these are becoming a normality.