Saturday, March 20, 2010


Over Easter I head to the UK for a brief period to conduct some Spin Doctor Clinics.

Dates and venues currently in place are as follows:

April 10-11...... Leeds ( yet to find a suitable venue)

April 12-13......Wimbledon (Kings College Wimbledon)

April 14-15.....Essex (Writtle Indoor Cricket Centre)

I can't head across before Easter as my daughter is being married on 28th March and I must be home on the 17th as Ann and our two friends Ian and Carol Berry are taking a trip up through the middle of Australia.

It would have been easy to delay the clinics until July/ August except some of my loyal followers requested the clinics and I couldn't let any of them down.

So, that is 2010 thus far.

Next time I blog I will give a few coaching tips based on the enquiries I receive.

Around the world

Prior to Mumbai, I spent 3 weeks in Pretoria and 10 days in Zimbabwe.
The Pretoria camp was most enjoyable. Working for the ECB has always been that way for me.
The squad of cricketers was made up of 6 spinners, 6 pace bowlers, 6 batsmen and 4 wicketkeepers.
Peter Such and I were responsible for the spinners and working with Suchy was a good experience. We are sufficiently different in personality but on the same wave length as spin coaches for the boys to get the same message told in a way that they should understand.
At the end of the three weeks in Pretoria I spent a couple of days in Jo'burg chilling out before heading to Harare and Bulawayo.
The chilling out was special as I was able to catch up with my old mate (met him in 97) Harry Shapiro and enjoy a meal with him and his wife Ruth.
For those who have Harry's e-mail address, Wednesday 25th March is his 70th birthday. He still runs virtually every day and maintains his passion for coaching cricket, including spin bowling.
Okay, Harare and Bulawayo presented me with another of those experiences one never forgets.
To say I didn't know what to expect would be an understatement.
Such was the experience, the welcoming way I was treated by players, coaches, administrators, staff and people in general that I hope an opportunity comes for me to return sometime soon.
The standard of pitches in both cities was very good...something I didn't expect.
So, it came as something of a shock to me when I heard New Zealand pulled out of their upcoming tour to Zimbabwe. I am unsure of the actual reason for their action.
It certainly isn't what the Zimbabwian players and coaches need at this vital stage of their redevelopment.
Personally I hope there are no more setbacks as they work toward re entering the big arena.

Back in Town

It is obvious I am a slow typist as I have tried unsuccessfully to get behind the computer with at least one update this year. I am however there now.
Last Monday I returned from a week in Mumbai where I spent time with my mate Shane Warne and the Rajahastan Royals.
To say I was well looked after during my stay would be understating the generosity of the management and coaching staff of the Royals.
Thanks to them I attended the opening night/game in an upmarket corporate area, having travelled to the venue by boat.
The crowd participation is unbelievable. So much noise and loud music it was like being at a disco...and at my age I don't attend disco's!!
I also attended the Royals first match where I was located with the players.
It wasn't a good result for Warnie's boys losing to Tendulkar's Mumbai Indians by 4 runs. The Royals were completely outplayed and were it not for Yusuf Pathan scoring a magnificent 100 in 37 balls, the loss would have been a large one.
It was a bit like old times, working with Shane in the nets. I also worked with a couple of legspinners attached to the Royals squad and that was most enjoyable as they were both very responsive.
One thing that came to me during the time there was the fact that 20/20 cricket is no doubt the only form of the game which allows, even encourages, spinners to be hit. Of course everyone gets slogged so spinners are no exception.
It is not the place for spinners to learn their craft but it is certainly the place for experienced spinners who know how to vary their pace and flight.
As I write the Royals have yet to win a game having lost three out of three.
They will need to find some batsmen if they are to turn that form around.
Ladies and Gentlemen, if you get a chance to attend the IPL for a week or two, don't miss the opportunity.