Proteas

Proteas fit and ready to go

2011-08-04 10:56
AB de Villiers (Gallo)
Cape Town - While the new incumbent Proteas management strategises for the season ahead, the players have been doing their own preparation, for an important and lengthy 18 months of cricket to come.

Proteas conditioning and fitness coach, Rob Walter, has been hard at work with the players behind the scenes, making sure they are physically prepared for what lies ahead. In the next year, the Proteas will play a summer home series against Australia and Sri Lanka, and next year they head to New Zealand, England and Sri Lanka for the ICC World Twenty20 World Cup.

“It has been difficult because the guys are all scattered around the country and the globe, but I have been really impressed with the commitment that the players have shown. commented Walter. “I drew up programmes for the players to follow with their Franchise trainers and have had one-on-one sessions with them over the months, they are in good shape.”

While it is unusual for the squad to have a seven-month break, the extra down time has given the players the opportunity to reflect, and to focus on a new season, which is the start of an exciting era for the Proteas.

“I gave the guys a breather after the World Cup but now systems are in place and the players are hungry for the season to start. The next 18 months are going to be crucial so everyone has to be in top shape. Most of the players are involved in the Champions League in September so their fitness levels are at a peak, but we will see at the end of the month just where everybody is at.”

The programme has been running in different stages throughout the winter, from basic strength, power drills and endurance activities, but despite the absence of a fitness training camp like the one held last season, everyone is motivated to keep in shape.

“Myself, Jacques (Kallis), Mark (Boucher) and AB (de Villiers) ran the Knysna half marathon last month, it was a great effort from the guys. Everyone has been doing their form of activities including mountain biking, running and squash to keep busy, so I’m very happy with the preparations.”

The active Proteas have also been shining abroad for their respective county sides. Imran Tahir showed his capabilities in the longer format of the game in the Division Two County Championship match between Yorkshire and Hampshire at Southampton. He took 6/132 in 50 overs at an economical rate of less than three runs per over.

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