Saturday, March 20, 2010

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.