Proteas strength and conditioning coach, Greg King, has introduced innovative methods to help the players manage with the extreme heat in the UAE during the upcoming Test series against Pakistan starting on Monday. The high temperatures and humidity are some of the challenges the coaching staff will have to manage carefully, with temperatures consistently peaking in the high 30's.
The three-day match against Pakistan "A" was used as a trial to try out the methods and gadgets, and has given the support staff a better indication of the effective tools to use during the Test series.
“I tried a variety of different garments during the warm-up match," King remarked. "We have a cooling ice vest, a bandana that is put on the head to help with head cooling and discs which can be put on various parts of the body. All of these items have a gel inside which is frozen in the freezer and kept cold."
The management will also be focusing on the more conventional and equally effective methods of hydration, iced towels and umbrellas at as many spots as possible on boundaries.
"There are positives and negatives to them," he added. "When the guys are on the field they can't wear a full ice vest because it is quite cumbersome and there are regulations so we use that when they come off the field or during drinks breaks. It’s about giving the guys a few minutes of comfort during the breaks or in between overs to try and get that extra one percent more out of them."
King admits the technology has been around for a while but hasn't been necessary for the Proteas to use on previous tours where the climate is cooler.