While cricket skill is undoubtedly the most important aspect of performance for a cricket player, fitness and body size and shape can also be a factor in the success of players. Body size and composition was rated lowest of all components of fitness for cricket, though its effect cannot be ignored.
While successful cricketers can come in all shapes and sizes, certain physical attributes can play a part in performance. Height can be an advantage in bowling, batting and fielding, body shape can affect balance and carrying excess body fat increases fatigue.
Tall players can have an advantage in bowling, as the longer levels can impart greater speed of the ball and the greater release height can result in more bounce. The list of tallest cricketers ever, made up of only fast bowlers, very clearly demonstrates that height is an advantage when bowling fast. The same applies to batting, more bat speed can be achieved with longer arms, and the longer arm length can mean a wide balls can be more easily reached.
Being short can also have an advantage, the lower center of gravity of shorter players may result in better balance and agility, an clear advantage while batting and fielding. See the list of the shortest cricketers ever. There are examples of great cricket players at both extremes of height.
No matter what the height of the cricket player is, any excess body fat would affect the cricketer's ability to move freely around the field, and also increase fatigue during training and game play. A simple way to look at this is using BMI, which indicates the weight relative to the player's height.
- Fitness testing - Anthropometry
- See more on fitness components for cricket, including results of a poll about the fitness components for cricket.
- Fitness testing for cricket
- Fitness for Cricket
- Warm-up for cricket
- Sport Specific Anthropometry - about body size and composition of many sports
- The Physical Demands of Professional Cricket — an article by Andrew Gale, a professional cricketer who has played over 100 1st team games for Yorkshire.