4 funny (but true) reasons cricketers play football before match

Indian cricketers playing football

Football on the cricket ground is something a lot of people think is weird, but in recent times it is a game that a lot of cricketers play during their practice and training sessions, especially before matches.

People might argue that players should be hitting the nets rather than kicking the ball around, but this adrenaline filled sport is more beneficial before the match begins.

So why do cricket players play football before their main game?

Below are five reason the round leather game is so popular on a cricket field these days.

  1. Love for the game

Many cricket players follow the game of football and enjoy having fun with it during their leisure time.

Indian cricket star, Ravindra Jadeja, who developed passion for football after joining the team in 2009 said “I started playing football as a pre-practice routine when I joined the Indian team in 2009. We enjoy our football before practice. When I get some free time, I try to work on my skills as I love the sport.”

  1. Motivation

In time of distress, most cricketers seek refuge in football to help ease their pain.

“Whenever the team is feeling down or we’ve had a hectic travel day and don’t have the energy to do normal warm-up, football gives the extra motivation to run after a ball and show our skills,” another Indian cricket star, Virat Kholi, admitted.

“Basically, it gets the competitive nature out in a big way. Whenever we feel like we have to bond as a team and get our energy going, we have a quick game of football and we are ready to go.”

  1. Energy booster

And when an extra adrenaline is needed to go the extra mile, many cricketers play football.

Kholi added: “When we play for long, we can actually go on for 40-45 minutes that burns you out completely.

“I’m someone who cannot control myself; I keep running back and forth. If you are not someone who likes to run laps around the ground, just play football for 40 minutes.”

  1. Bond among teammates

Cricket coaches encourage their players to play football during training sessions and prior to games because it helps in fostering unity among the team.

Shane Watson, who plays for Indian Premier League side, Royal Challengers, said about skipper Kohli and teammate, KL Rahul: “Before any practice session the guys just love playing football. Virat is the Ronaldo of the team. (KL) Rahul is very serious about the sport and is good at it too.”