On Thursday11th and Friday 12th June I attended a spin summit at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, organised by Cricket Australia.
Many would say it is a knee jerk reaction to the lack of genuine spinners playing in the Sheffield Shield competition. They might also ask what could a meeting achieve at a time when clearly there is no spinner on the horizon that gives hope in the immediate future.
I must admit I had my doubts about the outcome of a meeting with so many coaches, mostly holding different views.
The idea was not to work out a method of coaching but to work out a vision for spin bowling embracing captains, coaches, selectors and the spin bowler.
Around the table sat Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill, Australia's most successful modern day spinners. Representing the older brigade was Peter Philpott, Ashley Mallett, Jim Higgs and me. Higgsy only does a little coaching but brought a wise head to the table. Gavin Robertson, David Freedman and John Davison presented the view of the spinners still in their 30's.
Chairman of Selectors Andrew Hilditch spent a day with the group which I believe he found beneficial even though he doesn't have a lot to choose from.
While it is not proper for me to outline what the Summit resolved as a future pathway, I can say we were all pretty pleased with the direction it appears spin will head in the future.
It was interesting to hear all the different views relating to the direction our learning should take. The older generation ( Philpott, Mallett and Jenner) felt the need to work from the junior level through to the senior level as we move forward. Some others felt if you get it right at the top level it will filter down.
I guess the difference of opinion comes from the fact that the older generation has been coaching for years and has witnessed first hand the impact dot ball bowling has had on the development of young spinners.
Whatever the resolution was it will not have an impact for 5-10 years. However, you have to start somewhere and Cricket Australia has.