Former Indian opener and two-time world cup winning cricketer, Gautam Gambhir, recently called the game of cricket more ‘physical’ in nature than it previously was.
Gambhir credits the shortest format of the game for the revolution of fitness amongst contemporary cricketers.
The cricket-turned-politician claimed that the game concentrated on technique during his day and age. But now the sport witnessed a paradigm shift with the importance of fitness in the game.
If you look at the current team’s players, they are physically very fit as compared to earlier times. It is because earlier, physical fitness was not given that much importance. Since T20 format has come, cricket has become a physical sport,” Gambhir stated in a recent interview.
The Indian team has been strict regarding the selection criterion using fitness parameters using the yo-yo test. The likes of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina have previously failed to cut into the Indian team, after failing the Yo-Yo Test.
With the influence of the Yo-Yo test, the Indian team fields one of the fittest teams in the circle as well as in the boundary.
“When I started playing cricket, there was no T20 cricket. It was not a physical sport but was a technical one. But if now you are not physically fit, I do not think you can do well in any format,” Gambhir quoted as saying by HT.
Also, the veteran cricketer urged young girls to take up the sport seriously as a profession, much like their male counterparts.
Gambhir cited the example of the current women’s team, which went on to reach the finals and semi-finals of the recent ICC events.
“If girls take up any sport, it is a big step towards our vision of making a sporting country. I would want girls to take cricket as seriously as men take it. If you look at the current women’s team, they have played World Cup semi-finals and before that, they have been runners up of the World Cup. It is a very good sign for the country,” resigned the 38-year old.