England v West Indies Tests - Men's
England new boy's impressive lockdown weight loss
Dom Sibley reveals he's lost 12kg after he felt self-conscious about his weight during England's tour of Sri Lanka this year
7 July 2020, 09:02 AM AEST
New England opener Dom Sibley has revealed he lost 12 kilograms during the COVID-19 lockdown, the right-hander now fitter than ever ahead of the start of the Test summer.
Sibley says watching new teammates Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Jos Buttler sweating it out during a training session earlier this year was the "wake-up call" he needed to improve his own fitness, saying his exposure to the elite level left him self-conscious about his weight for the first time in his career.
Standing at around 190cm, Sibley concedes he's never been the fittest player and has earned the nickname 'Fridge' due to his solid build.
But watching his international teammates train on their tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year has led to a change.
"In Sri Lanka, for the first time in my career, I felt a little bit self-conscious about my physique and my weight," Sibley said ahead of the first Test against the West Indies, starting tomorrow.
"I just remember sitting on the plane and thinking, 'I need to do something'.
"I remember being in Sri Lanka, especially with that heat, and seeing a few of the lads running after a big session and that was an eye-opener for me. Ben Stokes is a bit of a freak when it comes to his training.
"Actually, it was seeing him, Root and Buttler running after a session in Colombo. I remember being absolutely spent so that was a real eye-opener. Seeing these guys and the graft they put in to stay at this level for the amount of time they have done, is something that I want to do.
"It was an opportunity for me to improve that side of my game and I'm glad to have been able to stick to it. I needed to do it. It's great to have all the support from the backroom staff, the support's been great and the information I've been given and all that has been really helpful."
The 24-year-old, who now weighs in at around 88kg, is yet to feel the true benefits of his improved fitness, but said a lifestyle change was overdue.
"I've always been someone who hasn't necessarily been the fittest in the squad," he said. "I've always, whether at Surrey or Warwickshire, been coasting in that aspect.
"I have always prided myself in training really hard on my batting but maybe that side has not been something I have done to the best of my ability. I've had taps on the shoulder before and haven't really done anything about it.
"I think it was overdue having that wake-up call and a good lesson for me, regardless of whether it leads to runs.
"If I'd done nothing during lockdown I think I'd have got to here and thought, 'I haven't quite ticked every box'. But I feel I've trained hard and I'm ready for the series. Success or failure, I feel like I've left no stone unturned.
"I've never felt tired batting. My fitness has never affected my batting. It's not necessarily going to improve my batting. But it might help my agility in the field. And carrying less weight might keep me on the park for longer with fewer niggles."
Sibley made his Test debut late last year and scored his maiden hundred against South Africa in Cape Town six months ago.
He will open the batting with Rory Burns in the first of three Tests against the Windies this week.