The secret of a long, successful club cricket career | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

The secret of a long, successful club cricket career

Creative Commons License photo credit: NickStenning

How long can you play club cricket at a decent level and still enjoy it?

You don't find many professional cricketers playing beyond 40 these days. Club players can go on longer as the demands are less. However for most of us the glory days are in our 20's. What follows is a gradual drop in standard as we hit 40, 50 and beyond.

As a player in his 30's, I'm interested in finding out if it's possible to slow down this decline. I'm inclined to think there is.

Both Michael Boyle and Dr. John Berardi agree that many of the symptoms of aging are self inflicted and with the right exercise combined with the right diet we can maintain our quality of life for longer.

Let's look at some of the things that might cause a drop in cricket performance as we get older:

  • Slower reactions
  • Reduction in strength and power
  • Lower endurance levels
  • Increased tiredness
  • Chronic pain (especially lower back, knee and neck)
  • Weight gain

Every one of those age related issue (and loads more) can be almost totally eliminated by exercise and diet. As Dr. Berardi says: "metabolic decline can be prevented entirely".


If you can strength train, do intervals and follow the 10 rules of good nutrition you will be boosting your metabolism, cutting the effect of age on your reaction times speed and power, keeping your weight under control and feeling healthier.

Don't wait for the symptoms of age to catch you up forcing you to lower your standards or even retire. Look after your body and feel the rewards of playing at a better standard for longer.

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'Weight gain'

As long as metabolism is kept high by sporting activities and correct nutrition they should be fine.

Lack of muscle etc due to decline in testosterone and hgh levels may cause this decline so its normal.

I think there's another factor which is general despondency at not being as good as you once were and the frustration that comes with that! It takes a particular personality to happily drop down the club sides from 1st XI to 2nd XI to 3rd XI without letting it get to them!

Very true Ed. I was looking at it from a physiological viewpoint but the psychological aspect is an important one.

Faris, I think people give in to the decline before they should do. As you say, you can keep your metabolism high through diet and exercise. Many people thing "well, i'm 35 now, no point in trying anymore".

I think Greg Matthews is a great example of age not being as a limiting factor as some people percieve. He is still going around in Sydney Grade Cricket playing firsts and he's 49 and still going strong, He still says he hasn't retired from first class cricket either.