Proteas keeping cool in ice vests

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South Africa's players are doing all manner of things, from the bizarre to the conventional, to stay cool in the heat of the UAE, taking precautions in the dangerous conditions for the Tests against Pakistan.

South Africa's players are doing all manner of things, from the bizarre to the conventional, to stay cool in the heat of the UAE, taking precautions in the dangerous conditions for the Tests against Pakistan.

The Proteas players, mostly the fast bowlers, have been wearing unfashionable yet effective ice vests (jackets filled with ice) on the sidelines while training ahead of the series, and will continue to use them then they can when the first Test starts in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Fitness trainer Greg King explained the reasoning to <i>Cricinfo</i>: "When the environmental temperature is hotter than the body or close to body heat, it becomes very difficult for your body to lose heat.

"The temperature of skin is around 32 degrees so when it is close to that outside, the body will be generating heat and its mechanism for dispensing with it is made less efficient.

"If you get too hot, your body will tell you to slow down. You won't be able to put in as much effort. And then you will not get guys bowling at 100%, they'll be at 80%.

"When they are on the field, they can't wear an ice-vest because it's cumbersome and there are regulations about what you can and can't put on so we've to experiment with when they come off the field and during drinks breaks.

"It's just giving the guys a minute or two of comfort."

As for the players themselves, they have been getting used to the conditions, with spinner Robin Peterson going so far as to say of the ice vest: "I don't think I'll need it, I'm ok in the heat."

King then added that while the ice vests would be used as much as possible, he was also trying to make sure there would be a few umbrellas around the boundary edges, as they would be "more effective than any of the garments we have."

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