Proteas men’s physiotherapist Craig Govender has praised the national team players for the way they maintained their fitness during the lockdown.
The Cricket South Africa (CSA) men’s High Performance training squad returned to training on Monday following approval from the Minister of Sport, Arts & Culture, the Honourable Nathi Mthethwa last Friday. This after more than three months of no cricket or team skills training being allowed because of the COVID-19 outbreak, which put a stop to all sport globally.
With the green light now given, players will train in small monitored groups with identified coaches from their nearest franchise teams.
These sessions will be in accordance with the guidelines set out by the CSA COVID-19 Steering Committee and approved by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), an arm of the National Department of Health.
“Not being with the players these last few months has been a challenge,” Govender said. “I had to trust them to do the activities that had been put in place for them. It was quite nice to see that all of them have done what they were supposed to. We’re always communicating so if there were problems we have been rectifying them but overall, things look extremely good and I am very happy with the shape the players have returned in.”
The 45-man training squad was announced on Monday to resume training, with most of those players also scheduled to participate in the 3Team Cricket Solidarity Cup – presented by RAIN – scheduled for Nelson Mandela International Day (18 July 2020).
Govender was also happy that some of those players carrying niggles prior to lockdown now appear to be over those problems.
“Each one had a programme and that has obviously allowed guys to get much better during this period,” he explained. “They obviously allowed their bodies to rest and get these certain areas better over time.”
The Proteas physio also highlighted the importance of a phased approach to normal training, especially in the days and weeks ahead. He does not want players to get too excited, especially after being locked up for so long.
“Everyone’s excited to go outside and to get the sun,” he added. “Vitamin D on the body is a big thing, but we also have to put some rope around the guys and make them understand that they can’t go really hard. They still need to make sure they need to have all those muscles activated before activity. They need to build up and get their bodies in tune with the requirements, so it’s about progression and very good warm ups will be essential and that’s something we will be emphasising as training resumes.
“Everything has to be done progressively. So for instance, with the bowlers we can’t get them to go straight out of the block. We have to do it in a phased system and that’s pretty important.”