Saturday, May 31, 2008

Warne & MacGill

Following Australia's unconvincing win in the first Test against the West Indies Stuart MacGill came in for a lot of criticism. I have no doubt he suffered mostly because he was unable to do a "Shane Warne" and grind the batsmen into submission.
MacGill has never been Warne like in the way he gets his wickets. There has always been a mixture of short and over pitched deliveries with some wicket taking deliveries thrown in as well.
When those wicket taking deliveries don't gain positive results his figures can look ordinary.
It reminds me of that old saying about a little boy. "When he is good he is very, very good but when he is bad he is horrid".
Despite that he still managed 4 wickets in the Test,
In my view the bowler under the pump is Mitchell Johnson, not Stuart MacGill.
Mitchell is a magnificent athlete without a bowling action to match.
His inconsistency is consistent!
Ricky Ponting obviously has a lot of faith in him as he does seem to get more than his share of overs.
The fact that he struggles to knock over the tail because he is unable to bowl at the stumps is a major concern.
Let us hope in the second Test match he steps up and rewards Ricky and company for the faith they have in him.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


In 1999 I was invited by Hugh Morris of the England and Wales Cricket Board to develop a wrist spin programme in England. The Brian Johnston Memorial Trust (BJMT) immediately became partners with the ECB and have remained as a major supporter ever since.

The programme continues this year for the 10th year, something "Johnners" , a lover of wrist spin, would have been be proud . Wrist spin was never that popular with English County teams but they have embraced the concept by supporting the boys who have been BJMT Scholars over the years.

Yorkshire has given First Class experience to Adil Rashid and Mark Lawson. Michael Munday has represented Oxford University and Somerset and the most recent debutante has been Matthew Gitsham for Gloucestershire. Each of these leg spinners has been to Adelaide on more than one occasion as part of the ECB/BJMT wrist spin programme.
The Matthew Gitsham story is one which will occupy a Blog space later.

In July this year we will conduct trials at Loughborough University to decide the next two boys to attend the Elite Spin Programme in Adelaide during October.
Along with the spinners four coaches will attend the programme to continue the development of both spinner and coach.

Spin Matrix

Recently I delivered a wrist spin presentationat the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane for Cricket Australia.

The Level 3 course, which is Australia's highest coaching level, was attended by approximately 40 Australian and overseas coaches including former Test players Darren Lehmann and Greg Blewett.

For the first time at a Level 3 presentation I used Power Point to introduce and explain coaching method.

The Spin Matrix evolved for this presentation.

What is Spin Matrix you ask?

A dictionary definition of Matrix is as follows: " a medium in which an influence develops"

It seemed to have an impact with the coaches.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Spin Doctor Clinics - UK

Having spent many years coaching in the UK and working with the ECB and the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust I became aware of a need for spinners not in the system to access coaching. With the assistance of coaches parents and cricketers I have been able to run Spin Doctor Clinics across the country.

During the summer this year I will be holding Spin Doctor Clinics at Chigwell School and Teddington Cricket Club.

Any spinner from around 10years of age to adult, can enroll and benefit from the sessions which are held for 2 hours a day over 3 days.

If you are a spinner looking to develop, contact me to book a spot.