Fasting is a great mental exercise: Amla

Star batsman believes fasting helps in his conditioning

Fasting is a great mental exercise: Amla PHOTO: Reuters

South Africa's opening batsman Hashim Amla is a devout Muslim and has always been vocal about the affect religious activities have on his state of mind and performance.

The South African star believes that fasting is one of the best exercises in the world as it is not only a mental exercise but also helps in his conditioning.

“Yeah it [fast] really helps in my conditioning. Fasting is something I always look forward to. It’s probably the best month of the year for me,” said Amla. “Whenever we are playing cricket at the time especially during training sessions, physically yes you do feel hungry and thirsty but for me it’s a great mental exercise. But most importantly it’s a great spiritual exercise as well.”

The right-handed batsman also stated that it was ‘lovely’ to finally arrive in England and start their World Cup campaign.

“Lovely to get to England and get the World Cup underway. We have had two decent warm-up games. It’s always nice to get some time in the middle,” he said. “In England you are going to have these types of days where it’s probably a little stop and start, so as a batsman you need to get your mind around it.”

When asked who he thought would make headlines in the World Cup from the current South Africa team, the 36-year-old started that all the younger players in the team were in contention to steal the show during the mega event.

“There are quite a few, I would say all the young guys. As you said, we got a good squad and we are just going about our business. We are trying to play as good as we can,” he said. “As the tournament goes through, I am sure the youngsters and hopefully everyone will just get into gear and play good cricket.”

The star batsman was candid about his form leading up to the mega event and said that his inclusion in the playing XI was not up to him.

“Scoring runs is always important. T20 cricket is different to ODI cricket. So fortunately before we met up for camp I had about two weeks so I got some time in the nets,” he said. “Whether I play in the playing XI or not is not up to me. I do what I can and what happens after this is for the benefit of the team.”

Amla believed that the wealth of experience and communication within the team ensured that knowledge was being passed on to the youngsters in the team.

“There’s a lot of experience in the playing XI and the coaching staff, so that osmosis of information and knowledge is going to happen anyway,” he concluded.