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Courtney Walsh's laws for longevity

Courtney Walsh's laws for longevity

Sat August 4, 2012 1:10pm

Australia's injury-prone quicks could learn from the Windies' warhorse.

COURTNEY Walsh can recall being injured twice in his life.

''I had a slight back injury as a kid, but that wasn't from bowling, it was from lifting something. I think I strained a muscle - that was the only injury I had, way back in 1982. When I was playing, I got a hamstring injury but I only missed one Test match with it, when I was captain on the 1995-96 tour of Australia.''

Walsh, the great and unbelievably durable West Indies paceman, is in Australia as team manager of the West Indies under-19 World Cup team. He is here at a time when Australia's young fast bowlers, who he believes possess great promise, can't stay on the park for more than a few games at a time.

Perhaps it is unfair to compare this marvel of physical resilience with a generation of talented quicks whose bodies are struggling to adjust to the stresses and strains of cricket's most demanding craft. But the question remains: What was his secret?

''The way I grew up was I did a lot of bowling to remain fit, so the muscles were accustomed to a lot of bowling, but I used to pace myself along the way,'' Walsh told The Saturday Age.

''I know a conscious effort is made now to limit the amount of overs the youngsters bowl and I think that can be good and bad in a way, because if your body gets accustomed to bowling five overs, then that's what it's going to be [able] to do. That didn't work for me … the bowling muscles for me needed to be well trained for the workload they needed to do.''

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