They’re used to battling it out for wickets - but Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s Headingley heroes were tested to their limits when they trained with soldiers at Catterick Garrison.
The first team squad - including several capped England internationals - were put through their paces by Yorkshire Regiment troops with a series of fitness challenges based on real army exercises.
Ashes winner Ryan Sidebottom, Liam Plunkett and Tim Bresnan were asked to winch a bogged-down Land Rover free, run through trenches full of water and complete a 1.5-mile circuit.
They ate lunch in the field before taking part in a stretcher race and finishing the day with a 1.5-mile run back to the barracks.
The away day was organised by former captain and newly-appointed coach Andrew Gale as part of the cricketers’ winter training programme.
“Obviously the physical and mental side of things were a real challenge but we got to see who the workhorses were but also who were the leaders. It was fascinating to watch how the teams communicated between themselves.
“It is something we did about 10 years ago at Strensall but for 90 per cent of the team this is something completely new. It certainly beats being inside in the nets. Everyone is thoroughly enjoying it although they might not like being so cold and wet.”
Their dedication impressed commanding officer Major Henry Bowden, whose soldiers were all too keen to volunteer to run the exercise with the professional sportsmen.
“It has been a great opportunity for the soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment to be able to train and operate alongside the Yorkshire county cricket team. We have set up a challenging but hopefully enjoyable training day. They are professional athletes who we can also learn a lot from.”
During the lunch break the cricketers were able to inspect the soldiers’ equipment, which included a Jackal long range surveillance and reconnaissance vehicle and the new Foxhound protect troop carrier and patrol vehicle,as well as a general purpose machine gun and 50-calibre machine gun.