Have you ever relished the feel of dancing down the wicket and lofting the ball over the fence for a six? Or as a captain, held your nerves to secure a victory for your team in a nail-biting close encounter? Have you ever struck gold by bamboozling a well settled partnership with your ace yorkers and destroyed an entire opposition’s batting lineup?
Playing cricket is a great hobby and most of us participate in the sport to derive maximum fun from it. However, there are numerous benefits for partaking in a healthy, exhilarating sport such as cricket. Here are five ways cricket benefits you :-
1. Endurance and stamina
A test match is indeed a grueling match that not only challenges your ability to go hard at the opposition for long, but also your survival skills. Hence the name, test match. A fierce competition that lasts for five days, unlimited overs and four innings in total, cricket builds the player’s stamina and endurance. If you can bowl as a fast, medium or spin bowler for a good 30 overs in each innings, your endurance level is bound to rise. Similarly a batsman that aims to score a big knock has to keep on playing shots and taking singles.
2. From the batsman’s perspective!
Batsmen always have to play wristy shots or slog the ball when the situation demands it. Lifting the bat for each and every ball or swinging it in order to keep the scoreboard ticking is beneficial for your muscles. Whether you sweep a spinner, square cut an undisciplined delivery or paddle a timed stroke to the leg-side, your hands are involved in every aspect of the game. Muscle coordination, movement and balance are all enhanced when you bat for long.
3. The bowler’s perspective!
Bowlers have to gallop all the way from their run-up to the bowling end in order to cast their delivery. Fitness is essential for a bowler and a game of cricket further improves his endurance. From the feet to the calves, legs, thighs, chest and shoulders, muscle strength of the bowler is improved. Constant running also causes a good effect on the spine and if not overdone, can prevent you from succumbing from back pain as well as injuries.
4. Blood circulation
Exercise always results in blood pumping faster to all parts of the body and this is what a game of cricket does for you. For hours on end, everyone is constantly moving or are on their feet. The bowlers, fielders and batsmen all stand their ground till their role ends. When you perform physical feats such as running between the wickets or diving to save the ball from an impending boundary, your blood reaches different parts of the body quickly, supplying it with oxygen. This also prevents heart strokes, blood pressure and fat accumulation in the body.
5. Reflexes and nerves
A fielder always has to be on his toes and on the lookout for a classy stroke from the batsman. Other times, he has to be fast enough to take a diving catch to send a batsman back to the pavilion. Running full throttle towards a racing delivery all of a sudden, diving for an almost unreachable catch or readying himself for a sudden, hurtling catch, reflexes improve as a result of playing cricket. Your nervous system gets acclimatised to reacting suddenly to emergencies. Also, a game of cricket involves superior strategy, nerve racking technicalities and a superior understanding of the game to formulate wins. Hence, a game of cricket provides one with much needed mental ability and toughness to handle the arduous situations of life.
Hence, a game of cricket does wonders for your health and physical characteristics. Always be sure to exercise plenty before going into a match for fear of injuring yourself!