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Liam Plunkett turns to cycling to prolong his career

Liam Plunkett is second in the list of leading wicket-taker in ODIs since 2016
Liam Plunkett is second in the list of leading wicket-taker in ODIs since 2016

England fast bowler Liam Plunkett insists that turning to cycling has helped his revival in international cricket.

The 32-year-old recently picked his maiden five-wicket haul in Bristol during the One-Day International series against West Indies and is third in the list of leading wicket-takers behind Rashid Khan and Adil Rashid since 2016 with 51 wickets from 28 matches.

Citing the importance of remaining fit, Plunkett reflected on his changes in training regime that have helped him in his aspirations to become a successful bowler for England.

"A lot of fast bowlers my age are winding down their careers and looking to retirement, but I’m nowhere near wanting to stop. I want to play for England for as long as I can and to win something; we got so close at the T20 World Cup but it'd be nice to be around for 2019 World Cup and to lift the trophy.

"But it’s not quite as simple as that, at 32 I know how important conditioning is to keep me fit. Nowadays keeping off my feet unless it’s cricket specific is probably the best thing for me.

"That’s why I’ve turned to cycling. It’s low impact but still often turns into a monster session, particularly when you’re riding up some of these killer hills around here.

"It’s also a great way to lose weight which for me is essential, as I feel like I bowl my best and quickest if I'm a bit lighter and more powerful.

"I'm based out in the sticks in North Yorkshire which is made for cycling. I ride a cracking Vitus road bike from wiggle.com which makes the big hill climbs around here much easier, I don't think I'd make it back to report for training otherwise."

Living just a few miles from where the Brownlee brothers are based, Plunkett passes them now and again but doesn't think he'll be keeping up with them anytime soon, saying: "I've no chance against them on a bike, they might be able to ride 90mph, but I can bowl 90mph!"

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