Hydration and Heat Management for Cricket Training and Matches

article by Clare Wood

Cricket is a summer sport and is therefore played at most times in fairly draining hot conditions. Hot and humid conditions can affect not only player performance, but also be a risk to their health. If a player is not adequately hydrated the detrimental effects of the heat are exacerbated.

It is the responsibility of the player, the coach and even clubs to put strategies in place to combat the effects of heat on players before, during and after matches and training sessions.

Match or Training Session Preparation:

If traveling to a hotter climate for a tournament, it is important to allow enough time for acclimatisation before a tournament starts. If this is not possible, aim to have some time in an artificially heated environment before going to the hot environment to get the body used to these conditions. 

Ensure players are hydrated for the start of each session:

During Matches or Training on Hot Days

Consuming icy cold drinks can help to manage elevated body temperatures and keep players cool. 

The 12th man, parent helper or coach should be available to run out ice-wet towels to batsmen while in the middle. Wet towels can also be placed at the boundary for access by fielders during play. 

Be aware that skins or multi-layers of clothing will reduce the ability for players to lose heat, and is not recommended unless necessary. 

it is hot playing cricket in the suna hot day of cricket

Utilizing Breaks in Play

At the End of Matches or Training Sessions

To determine the level of dehydration, players can weigh themselves, and compare this to their ‘starting weight’. The difference over a single session can be used to calculate the volume of fluids required to consume over the next few hours (1.5 x the weight loss (kg’s) = fluid requirements). (see the discussion of Methods for Measuring Hydration Status).

Re-hydration after matches and training sessions should be a priority, with consumption of non-alcoholic beverages done prior to any celebrations. Fluids and electrolytes should be consumed to enhance re-hydration and retention of fluid.

Sports drinks like Gatorade or Hydralyte,  offer an all-in-one option providing both the required electrolytes, along with fluids and sometimes carbohydrates for refuelling. Salty foods (e.g. cheese, bread, table salt added to pasta or any meal) eaten with water will also provide the recovery trio of electrolytes, fluids and carbohydrates.

Other tips

Signs to identify dehydration and degrees of severity of heat stress

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