Surrey batsman Tom Maynard is fast gaining a reputation as an explosive hitter of a cricket ball, but he has now been packing a punch in the boxing ring.
The former Glamorgan player has headed to India for a four-week camp arguably even more prepared than the rest of the England Performance Programme squad thanks to some help from legendary boxing trainer Enzo Calzaghe.
The father of former world champion Joe, who was undefeated in 46 fights, has been putting 22-year-old Maynard through his paces at his gym in Abercarn in south Wales.
The Cardiff-born batsman linked up with Calzaghe senior in a bid to improve his power and strength as he bids to break on to the international scene.
“We are going to be away for quite a while and it is important to be prepared for some tough times, mentally and physically,” said Maynard, who left Glamorgan for the Kia Oval before the start of last season.
“The opportunity to train with Enzo came up and the chance to work with a world-class trainer was not something I could turn down.
“I have not done much boxing, but the training is very intense and they put you through your paces. It is a complete body work-out and I have had a brief taste of what Joe had to go through for years. It is pretty gruelling and I don’t envy him for it.”
Added Maynard: “There has been a lot of power training in the last month and this is exactly the type of work that can help me.
“The ability to strike the ball hard and far is essential now because power-hitting has become a major credential in one-day cricket. If you can’t hit the ball out of the park there is not much space for you in a limited-overs team.
“You have to have the full package and be able to knock the ball around as well. But that big-hitting ability is essential in one-day cricket and you’ve got to bring it to the team. I feel I am in stronger shape than I have ever been, and I have trained pretty hard in preparation for what is going to be a pretty tiring tour.”
Enzo Calzaghe, meanwhile, says he was genuinely impressed with Maynard’s training. “I was surprised he managed so well because he said he had not done much boxing before,” said the trainer.
“I was telling him to do things and he was picking them up straight away and his punching was quite strong. So give me four weeks solid with him and he would be ready for his first amateur fight.”
Maynard has also this week signed a new one-year extension to his current Surrey contract, which takes it up to the end of the 2014 season.