|JP Duminy - sacrificed to the warm down|
Nowadays cricketers and all other top sportsmen indulge in extended warm-ups and and warm-downs that frequently last longer than the match themselves. Lower league cricketers are also encouraged to go through these rituals. There is no indication that such callisthenics improve the prospects of not missing a straight one.
No longer is the once time honoured tradition of standing in a semi-circle around the skipper while he blasts catches off the bat in all directions good enough. This was always and unconvincing event to FB. Some skippers were keen. They were well meaning. They may well have had their own bat. But their hand-eye coordination did not stretch to throwing the ball up with one hand and hitting it with the bat held in the other. There are those who will say that this was reasonable practice for slip fielding since any hit it presented a meaningful test of reflexes. Particularly if the ball came at face height. which it did. Always. These drills simply gave the opposition a false sense of superiority - but for the fact that they were indulging in a similar display of ineptitude.
Now however spring loaded stumps are planted here and there. Cones are spread around the field and everyone is expected to be energetic. It is peculiar preparation for when the toss is lost and the All Stars are inserted. Everyone is well readied to sit and watch for the next 3 hours. The only positive side that FB can see to this is that it tires the juniors out a bit so they sit quietly.
But there is a price to all this frenetic action, as South African batsman JP Duminy found out yesterday. He ruptured his achilles tendon badly during the warm down after the first day's play against Australia. While FB wishes him well, he is puzzled as to why JP was warming down at all. For he had made no contribution to the day's play at all, since only 2 wickets fell as S Africa took up where they left off against England in the summer.
And there is the issue - should JP have been warming down at all. Or should he have warmed up before considering warming down? Someone needs to sort this out before more players are sacrificed.