Yorkshire CCC’s Matthew Fisher sees energy levels rise thanks to England tour of West Indies
The Yorkshire pace bowler has been stocking up on his proteins and carbs.
“I’m all for the one-percenters,” he said, “and being with England during the winter, I learned so much about that side of things.
“The fuelling strategies that the nutritionist had, and the S&C… I’ve learned a lot because I definitely didn’t eat enough before on a day of cricket.”
Old-timers might dismiss the idea of diet and nutrition. Fast bowlers of yore famously warmed up with a fag and a cup of tea – followed by a few pints after stumps.
But times change and Fisher is grateful for the tips he received, with England’s backroom staff having the best resources.
“Just the education about the carbohydrates and stuff, which people might think is nothing, it really helped me,” added Fisher, who says that he now eats “lots of protein stuff, little carb bars and things”.
“My third and fourth spells are something I really wanted to work on, because before I just felt knackered. But this fuelling thing, I’ve put it into practice and I feel so much more energised at the end of a day than what I did before.”
Fisher is now more confident in his body all round. His career has been blighted by injuries, but the County Championship game against Gloucestershire is his fifth in succession going back to last season.
In addition, Fisher was fit for all the winter Tests in the Caribbean – he made his debut in the second of the three games in Barbados – as well as for the Lions tour of Australia.
It has given him a significant confidence boost.
“I do put in loads of hard work, but I think deep down I’m quite an anxious over-thinker, especially with the injuries that I’ve been through,” he said. “That naturally causes anxiety and, to be brutally honest, I feel like a weight’s been lifted off my shoulders from getting the opportunity to go on the Lions tour to then show what I can do (in the West Indies).
“It was quite a big thing (to get picked for England). There’s a lot of bowlers in the country that have got better records than me, but I think that the pace that I bowl and skill hopefully stood out to them and they invested in that. I just want to reward that by playing as much as I can and getting wickets.”
Fisher went on: “It was the best pre-season I’ve ever had because I’ve been bowling outside in the heat and I’ve not come back worried about ‘Oh, does this hurt, does that hurt?” because I’ve got through overs. My workloads are up. I could just stand at my mark (in Bristol) and let it come out and let the ball do the talking.
“Extending my run-up in the winter helped, too. As I’ve said before, that gives me more momentum through the crease and helps protect against injuries, whereas previously I was forcing it.
“I’ve only extended it 10 feet, but that gives me two or three extra paces and then hopefully I’ve got more momentum to then not have to force it, and you get the speed from the speed of your run-up.”