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Alex Lees column: Fitness a vital part of Yorkshire preparation
Alex Lees Column
IT HAS been an interesting week of Twenty20 cricket for us at Yorkshire.
We've had a couple of washouts and a woeful batting performance against Durham – but I guess the main talking point recently has been the two fantastic catches taken by Aaron Finch with help from Adam Lyth.
The first one was at Old Trafford a few weeks ago and I had a very good view of the one against Leicestershire, which was just as good.
We obviously practice our fielding but to be able to take catches like that, you also have to work on your athleticism.
As cricketers now, you work on so many different aspects of your game. It's no longer just about batting, bowling and fielding as athleticism plays a big part too.
That has never been better illustrated than these last few Twenty20 games – and particularly those two game-changing catches, which can definitely swing the match in your direction.
The ability to take catches like that comes from being fit and we do a lot of strength and conditioning work in pre-season to allow us to do that.
All the lads are in good shape and you have to be like that to be able to get off the ground. All that work we did in November I'm sure was a contributory factor in those two amazing catches.
Cricketers like playing cricket but fitness work is also part of the game now.
I do like keeping fit and doing all the work that goes with it. I think you have to like it because you're not likely to play much if you're not fit.
We all know the importance of keeping in shape and there is a big work ethic throughout the club. We believe if you work hard off the field, that transfers to your fortunes on the field.
I even ran a half-marathon a couple of years ago to help out a local charity, the Halifax Macmillan unit at the Halifax Royal hospital.
I don't mind running but if I'm honest I prefer cycling and, as we didn't have a game over the weekend, I went to watch the Tour de France as it passed through Yorkshire.