Pre-match warm-up and stretching help players avoid career-threatening injuries. Delivering a ball at a pace well in excess of 90mph puts enormous strain on the body and the body has to be warmed up before subjecting it to that kind of punishment.
Fielders, who stand on the field for hours have to spend long hours on the field and it becomes important for players to keep their body warm constantly.
Players can start their warm up with slow jogging or gentle stretching for five minutes or to the point you start perspiring. This helps in gradually raising the body temperature and it warms up the muscles.
Players should focus on stretching their calf muscles, lower back, and hamstrings. It can also include a game of soccer or a cricketing drill like running between the wickets and fielding drills.
During Test matches, players have to sit for a long time in the pavilion waiting for their turn to go out in the middle. At such times, they can keep their body warm by running on the spot or by doing some skipping.
On the field, players, especially bowlers can do light stretching so as to keep their body warmed up when they are called for their spell.
Investing proper amount of time in warm ups routine will help players avoid injuries related to overuse, as well as damage to muscles or tendons caused by lack of flexibility.