ABSTRACT: The effectiveness of simulation-based training has been examined in various sports. However, considering the effect of gender and sport on training, it would be interesting to evaluate simulation-based training in female cricket. The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of simulation-based training on physical fitness and performance indices in female cricket players. Sixteen female semi-professional cricket players were randomly assigned to experimental (n=8; age, 25±2 years; weight, 62±9 kg; height, 167±8 cm) or control (n=8; age, 24±1 years; weight, 57±9 kg; height, 170±8 cm) groups. The experimental group participated in a six week cricket simulation training program including running with different speeds (jogging to sprinting), agility, jumping, and shuffling. Both groups performed the Cooper 12 min run, line drill, an adjusted T-test, 20 ms print, the Sargent vertical jump and cricket exercise simulation test before and after six weeks of the study period. Control and experimental groups performed typical cricket training, three times weekly. The overall training volume was similar for both groups The perceived exertion was higher in the simulation-based training than control (p<0.05) group. The findings of this study indicated a significant increase in VO2 max (p=0.001), anaerobic power (p=0.009), explosive leg strength (p=0.036), and total distance covered in cricket exercise simulation test (p=0.001) and decrease of the meantime of one round of cricket exercise simulation test (p=0.001) in the simulation training compared to the control group. Generally incorporation of the simulation-based training in conditioning programs is recommended for improving aerobic, anaerobic and leg explosive strength of cricket players.
Keywords: Cricket players, athletes, Simulation training, Physical fitness, Performance, Players.