He was first nicknamed “Fridge” when he took part in England’s setup last winter.
But the new English opener Dom Sibley dropped this nickname along with 12 kilograms after making astounding change through sheer engagement during the Coronavirus lock.
He was the first English opener to score a test century in Newlands since January 1910 in 1910.
Beyond the glory in Cape Town and training with teammates Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Jos Buttler in Sri Lanka, Sibley admits that he had the “wake-up call” he needed to change something.
“In Sri Lanka, for the first time in my career, I felt a little self-confident about my physique and weight,” Sibley told reporters before tomorrow’s first test against the West Indies.
“I just remember sitting on the plane thinking, ‘I have to do something’.
“I remember being in Sri Lanka, especially in this heat, and seeing some of the boys running after a big session, and that opened my eyes. Ben Stokes is a bit crazy when it comes to training.
“Actually, he, Root and Buttler ran after a session in Colombo. I remember that I was absolutely spent, that was a real eye opener.
“Seeing these guys and the transplant they used to stay at that level for the time they did is something I want to do.
“It was an opportunity for me to improve this side of my game and I’m glad I was able to stick to it. I had to do it. It is great to have all the support from the staff in the back room. The support was great and the information I received and everything that was really helpful. “
Sibley now weighs 88 kilograms and says the change has paid off regardless of whether it will improve his performance with the racket in hand.
“I’ve always been someone who wasn’t the strongest in the squad,” he said.
“I’ve always been idle in this regard, whether in Surrey or Warwickshire.
“I was always proud to have trained my eyelashes really hard, but maybe this side was not something I did my best to do. I have had a slap on the shoulder before and have done nothing about it.
“I think it was overdue to have this wake-up call and a good lesson for me, regardless of whether it leads to runs.”
The English skipper Root will be missing this time because he is not present at the first test due to the birth of this second child.
Sibley, on the other hand, will open next to Rory Burns and go into the series, confident that he has done everything to be at the peak of his powers.
“If I hadn’t done anything during the ban, I would probably have come here and thought I hadn’t checked every box. But I feel like I’ve trained hard and I’m ready for the series, ”he said.
“Success or failure, I have the feeling that I have tried nothing.
“I’ve never felt tired. My fitness never affected my eyelash. It won’t necessarily improve my eyelash. But it could help my agility in the field. And if I carry less weight, I can stay in the park longer with fewer trifles. “