With many changes introduced in recent times to the rules of the game of cricket by the International Cricket Council (ICC) it is evident that all teams playing international cricket demands the need of their fast bowlers to be able to bowl at 140 kmph and above if they are to take advantage of the rules that govern the ODI version of the game. Having the use of two new balls in a ODI reduces the advantage of spin bowlers having more grip and purchase off the wicket during and also negates reverse swing to a great extent due to the reason that each of the two new balls are used for 25 over’s in an innings.
Due to the above reasons Sri Lanka Cricket’s fast bowling department has began paying special attention in an effort to develop our young up and coming fast bowlers to generate more pace, at the conclusion of the 2014/15 cricket season. A 15 member fast bowling squad has been undergoing training initially focusing on a structured strength and conditioning program. It also must be said that much emphasis and focus has been on developing the core and back area of the bowlers as this is seen as essential and if strengthened adequately this can give the bowler an advantage of developing and increasing ones power to be more explosive than usual.
Champaka Ramanayake ‘National Fast Bowling Coach’ who spearheads this area of work for the Coaching Department with other SLC fast bowling coaches is keen to see results of the current bowlers who are in training during the next domestic Cricket season. All bowlers currently in training are subject to a monthly fitness test in an effort to monitor ones progress and provide feedback to the bowler so that he could be better prepared if he is seen to be lacking in any area which needs to be addressed, the supervision of these tests are conducted by the SLC Strength & Conditioning Unit.
The fast bowling squad is also provided with meals, nutrition and a monthly allowance by Sri Lanka Cricket and if the need arises as in some cases accommodation is also provided. This program will run for a period of six months at which point all these bowlers will be released to represent their respective Premier Clubs for the 2015/16 Cricket season.
With the recent addition of ‘Michael Main’ (National Trainer) to the department who is of high repute, it is believed that his inputs would add value to our fitness training methods in the strength and conditioning areas and in time hopefully this would help us bridge the gap between other countries such as Australia, England and South Africa.