With the temperature rising all over the State, it’s hot and sweaty indoors and one is forced to take a frequent shower. But how do cricketers, who are in action for long hours during the hottest part of the day, handle the burning sun?

“We have been told to have a lot of water at night the day before matches. We also do a lot more stretching exercises. But we need to start matches earlier, at least by 8 a.m.,” said R. Harikrishnan, the leading batter of defending champion Muthoot Microfin CC soon after his Ernakulam District A-Division Cricket League match, against YCCC, at the St. Paul’s College ground here on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old stayed the longest at the crease this afternoon and was his team’s top scorer with 63 but Harikrishnan is used to burning conditions as he hails from Kalpathy in Palakkad, currently Kerala’s hottest district with the temperature frequently over 40 degrees Celsius.

R. Harikrishnan, defending champion Muthoot Microfin CC’s leading batter, after his A-Division League match in Kochi on Tuesday.

R. Harikrishnan, defending champion Muthoot Microfin CC’s leading batter, after his A-Division League match in Kochi on Tuesday.
| Photo Credit:
STAN RAYAN

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R. Harikrishnan, defending champion Muthoot Microfin CC’s leading batter, after his A-Division League match in Kochi on Tuesday.
| Photo Credit:
STAN RAYAN

With this being the situation, Palakkad has decided to restrict its A-Division League to 30-over matches.

“This is the first time we will have 30 overs in our A-Division which will begin on April 13. We played 45 overs earlier,” said T. Ajitkumar, the secretary of the Palakkad District Cricket Association.

Malappuram has also decided to limit its A-Division League to 30 overs-a-side.

The A-Division in Kerala frequently used to start around October but the changes in the Kerala Cricket Association’s player registration rules and the common platform (app) for all districts delayed the leagues’ start by five to six months.

Ernakulam, which has 50-over matches in its A-Division League, has advised teams and players to take more water breaks.

“We are also working on not having any play between noon and 2 p.m. We are starting at 8 a.m. to avoid playing during the hottest part of the day. And we have made our lower-level leagues, from C-Division to G-Division to 20-20 matches,” said R. Karthik, the Ernakulam DCA secretary.

“We also had a meeting of secretaries two days ago in Thiruvananthapuram and we have been told to advise clubs to close their camps before 9.30 a.m. in the morning and to have their afternoon sessions after 3 p.m.,” said Karthik.

“The daylight now is from 5.45 a.m. so you can start by 6 a.m.”

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